Children's Centres are Britain's institutional expression of our commitment to better childhoods. Established over a decade ago they are the spaces where a wide range of health, early education and specialist support services are brought together under one roof (or at least within a 'hub') so that parents with young children do not have to go from pillar to post navigating services for themselves.
We live in a society where children are constantly told to "do as their told" without explanation. The mantra "always do as adults say" passed down for generations. So when that means being told to put up with forced sexual activity by an adult and staying quiet about it, guess what sometimes happens?
"If only someone had listened..." is the final report of the Office of the Children's Commissioner's two-year national inquiry into child sexual exploitation by gangs and groups, and presents a compelling case for a "sea change" in the culture of children's services so victims' needs are prioritised...
The existing consent at 16 law was introduced over 100 years ago in a puritanical Victorian era. Since then, society has moved on to more informed and enlightened attitudes about sex... Given that the average age of first sexual experience is 14, then an age of consent of 14 might be more realistic and reasonable than 16.