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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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What is the UK law about sibling abuse?

Customer Question

what is the UK law about sibling sexual abuse?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Can you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
This is historical abuse between people (now adults) who are known to me. I have been given contradictory information and would like to know if this constitutes a crime by the abuser or if this depends on the age of the children when the abuse was initiated.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Well, it depends what you mean.If you mean two adults had a consensual relationship that was unlawful then there is an offence of incest but both parties would be guilty.If you mean forced sex then obviously that is an offence.If you mean that one person was under the age of consent and the other was not then there are other offences in that.Can I clarify anything for you?Jo
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
They were children at the time. ( I was explaining that they are adult now which is why it is historical). Both were under the age of consent
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
What was the age difference?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Two Years
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
And when did this happen? How old were they?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The abuse started when they were maybe 6 and 8. I'm not sure of the precise details. The person who told me was the abused one and was not willing to enter into discussion. She has had counselling but from the conversation we have had I don't feel it has been a particularly therapeutic experience and has left her extremely distressed and angry. Of course I am in no position to advise or comment and am well aware of the dangers of attempting to do so. However I need to be better informed of the law and the psychological issues (for which I have another trusted source) so that I can be supportive when the occasion arises. It started when they were maybe 8 and 10 and continued for 4-6 years.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I should add that as a result of her counselling, she has made some quite extreme claims about the legal situation and the psychological profile of her abuser which conflict with information I have acquired from my own research (partly from the internet) for example. I am trying to clarify the position.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Nothing that took place under 10 can be prosecuted because that is the age of criminal responsibility.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Some of it spanned over that though. It really depends what allegations are being made. If you have found some inconsistencies then I would be running for the hills if I were you especially if you are male. These are dangerous allegations that are very easy to make and you don't want to be vulnerable
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69773
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I am not the subject of any allegations and the subject of the abuse has received counselling, as I said, and has no intention of pursuing the matter further, although there are clearly unresolved issues. (She is now happily married with children.)
However I wasn't aware of any of this till recently and both of the people involved are now in their 40's. I am the godmother of one of them. As I have been made aware of the situation I was wanting to make sure, that anything I say is founded on fact and not speculation. Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
No, I understand you are not the subject of these allegations now but the problem is that there are people who just make allegations against everybody in the end. They are to be avoided. I dont know whether that applies here or not.If you are female then you are safer than a man would be.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I understand what you're warning me about. I shall take care and distance myself from this situation.
Thank you.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
That would be a very good idea. These are very easy allegations to make. They may be true. They may not. I do not know. I do know there are far more false allegations than the press would have you believe. Make sure they are not against you.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
You have made me aware and I will be careful.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Well done.

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