Chief Rabbi backs new child abuse law

Faith leaders will be prosecuted for having relationships with children of 16 and 17 in their care


Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has welcomed plans to make it an offence for religious leaders to have a sexual relationship with teenagers aged 16 and 17 when they are in a position of trust. 

Although the legal age of  consent is 16, professionals such as doctors and teachers are barred from forming a sexual relationship with children under 18 in their care. 

Now faith leaders and sports coaches will be covered as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in order to stop predators exploiting their influence over young people. 

Rabbi Mirvis said, “Sadly, wherever relationships of trust exist, there follows the danger for those relationships to be exploited in the most destructive way.  

“Nothing could be more vital than keeping young people in our communities safe and the closing of this loophole, as recommended by the Independent Inquiry in Child Sexual Abuse, sends an important message in that regard.”   

The IICSA is due to report later this year on its investigation into the role of religious organisations. 


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