Sex law criminalises agony aunts
- By: Stephen Goldie
A new law going through parliament could result in agony aunts who give advice to teenagers being liable to prosecution. Last minute amendments to prevent this have been rejected by the House of Lords.
The Sexual Offences Bill was written in an attempt to modernise the law and tackle paedophiles who “groom” young children in internet chat rooms. The need for change was highlighted by a recent case in which a 36 year old man persuaded two 13 year olds to meet him for sex, having chatted to them online.
Due to the indiscriminate wording of the bill, however, anyone who “communicates with a child” about sex, or “causes or incites another person to engage in” an activity which breaches the Sexual Offences Bill, will be liable to prosecution. An agony aunt answering questions of a sexual nature to a child under the age of 16 will be in breach