MP champions government reform on child sexual abuse

4th March 2021

MP champions government reform on child sexual abuse

Does a sports coach have less influence over a child than their teacher?

As Labour MP, Sarah Champion, told parliament yesterday, the law currently thinks so.

On Wednesday 3 March 2021, Ms Champion delivered a speech to parliament asking the Minister for Justice to change the law to close a loophole in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 which enables some people in a position of trust to sexually exploit 16 and 17 year olds in their care without legal consequences.

Currently, the legislation makes it an offence for anyone in a “position of trust” to engage in sexual activity with any 16 or 17 year olds in their care. This includes teachers and provides important protection from exploitation to young people of that age as other offences concerning children only apply to those 15 years old or under.

However, a person is only considered to be in a position of trust for the purposes of the 2003 Act if their role or profession is one of those listed in s21 of the Act.

As Ms Champion pointed out, sports coaches and faith leaders are not included in s21 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This allows such a person to engage in sexual activity with 16 and 17 year olds under their care without legal action. This is a loophole which she says the government have failed yet to correct despite her raising the issue several years ago.

It may seem obvious to most that, for instance, a sports coach, who will see a young person every day and, as Ms Champion put it, have the power to make their dreams come true, has just as much, if not more, influence over a child than their academic teachers. Surely, it follows that the sports coach should be said to be in a position of trust.

In fact, in 2019, the Minister for Justice did conduct an internal review of the law.

In her speech, Ms Champion describes how, in March 2020, after only being in post for a few short weeks, the minister stated it was crystal clear that this is an extremely important issue that requires a clear, considered and decisive response.

In the same announcement, the minister went on to say that we should consider urgently all options including legislative change and must be in a position to announce the next steps by the end of May 2020. No announcement has been forthcoming.

As a result, Ms Champion addressed parliament yesterday to ask the minister when exactly the government will announce the next steps to protect young people from sexual abuse by all those in whom they put their trust.

Upcoming Events

Supply Chain Supper Club – February 2020

05/02/2020

This event is invite only. If you would like to receive an invite, please…

Read More
News Posts

Gotelee welcomes Sian Walker…

14/10/2021

We are delighted to welcome Sian Walker as a trainee solicitor within Gotelee Solicitors…

Read More

Testimonials

"I would like to say thank you for your help, support and guidance over the last two and a half years. Obviously should I need further assistance in the future I shall not hesitate to call you guys."

-

"We were very pleased to have Jade as our solicitor, the service was excellent and we felt kept in the loop which minimised stress"

- CT

"Jade Shelton was absolutely fantastic!! Professional and proactive at all times."

- JH

"Jade made the process of buying our first home quick, easy and took the stress out of a new chapter of our lives"

-

"“ This is the second time we have used Tracey for the conveyancing to buy our new home. She is always completely approachable, she has helped us along the way with advice and useful tips that has helped lessen the stress. We have complete confidence in her and would not hesitate to recommend her to our friends and family”.  - Peter Dawes, Cater Dawes Financial Planning "

-

"This is by far the go-to firm for any issues. You are made to feel valued from the outset and they are so confident in what they do. Wouldn't recommend any other. Thank you Hugh and Max."

- Ros Jones

"We found Rachel Dawson outstanding, polite, professional and caring."

-

"I don't think this house sale would have pulled together without Jo's determination and expertise. Excellent!"

- MT

"The ease that we could access and speak to Pat Smith - Thank you"

-

"Prompt, helpful, polite and very professional service"

-

    Please select preferred method of contact

    * We will only contact you by telephone if you select this as primary form of contact. All web enquiries will be stored on our website for 30 days.