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Young Teens Most Likely To Be Abused

16 and 17 year-olds are the most likely to be abused, but are given the least protection according to The Children’s Society.

According to the leading charity just under 25,000 teenagers aged 16 and 17,are at risk of abuse or neglect. With one in fifty likely to suffer, the number represents a higher proportion of neglect than any other age group.

The Children’s Society report finds that said age group are most likely to suffer from physical or sexual abuse as well as a failing in duty of care, but are not protected the same under family law.

Not Same Legal Protection

Despite these figures, those aged 16-17 are not given the same amount of legal protection as children. Existing child cruelty laws allow prosecutions to be brought for neglect if the child is below the age or is 15.

The Children’s Society has requested that the UK government bring in an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill to protect those over the age of 15.The amendment is thought to be backed by over 80% of parents in England, with the law extending some aspects to Scotland.

Lily Caprani, Strategy and Policy Director, said: “It is nonsensical that children aged 16 and 17 are at most risk of abuse and neglect, and yet aren't given the same legal protection as younger children.

“Victims of cruelty and abuse can experience devastating mental and physical harm that can blight the rest of their lives.

“In the eyes of the law, they are children until they are 18 yet the law does not sufficiently protected from abuse and cruelty.

“We are urgently calling on the Government make it a criminal offence for a parent or guardian to abuse or neglect any 16 or 17 year old who lives with them, and for Child Abduction Warning Notices to apply to 16 and 17 year olds.”

Contact Us

If you require legal advice regarding any aspect of family law or if you have suffered from abuse and wish to take legal action, we will deal with your claim in the strictest confidence. Contact us today using our online contact form.

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