Seriously Awkward

It’s hard to know what to make of some teenagers. After all, it’s an awkward age. Are they children? Are they old enough to stand on their own two feet?

It’s not an easy question and the answers are seriously awkward.

A generation of vulnerable teenagers are being written off, falling between the cracks of childhood and adulthood. They are being let down by the law and not getting basic protections to keep them safe, healthy and happy. 16 and 17 year olds are the worst affected, often in grave danger, facing hidden harm.

We're calling on the Government to change the law to protect 16 and 17 year olds from harm, abuse and neglect. Help us by signing our petition.

Sign the petition

SOMETHING ISN'T QUITE RIGHT

It isn't always obvious what you're looking at.

a girl sitting at a table
a girl with a cat's head sitting at a table

WHY IS IT SO SERIOUS FOR 16 AND 17 YEAR OLDS?

Our research shows that, contrary to popular belief, the most vulnerable 16 and 17 year olds are often more at risk in many areas than younger children as they are less protected, or can feel 'written off'.

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16 and 17 year olds are more likely to be victims of violent crime.

 

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16 and 17 year olds are more likely to go missing.

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There are many things 16 and 17 year olds are likely to be.

But, they are less protected from abuse and neglect and don’t get the same basic safeguards as younger children.

WHAT ARE THE INCONSISTENCIES IN LAW FOR 16 AND 17 YEAR OLDS?

Far too many 16 and 17 year olds are falling through the cracks between childhood and adulthood. The law is failing to protect them.

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They can’t be protected from neglect by child cruelty laws.

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They can’t always get the same mental health support as younger teens. 

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They can’t be fully protected by the police from exploitation by predatory adults.

WHY ARE THEY TACKLING SERIOUS ISSUES ALONE?

These issues challenge general perceptions that teenagers can be seen as awkward and difficult. What they really need is more support and protection.

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One in three 16 and 17 year olds has faced sleepless nights due to worry in the last year.

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70% of 16 and 17 year olds do not describe themselves as streetwise.

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A quarter of 16 and 17 year olds frequently feel sad.

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Only one in 10 would talk to a professional such as a teacher for advice on issues such as health and relationships.

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Two thirds of 16 and 17 year olds feel judged just for being a teenager.

HOW MANY OLDER TEENAGERS NEED HELP?

Our new research has shown that there are around half a million children who face particular risk of harm because they are already dealing with multiple issues such as poverty, poor health or a lack of supportive relationships.

We estimate that 500,000 16 and 17 year olds face particular risk of harm

SIGN OUR PETITION

Sign our petition to ask the Government to change the law to protect 16 and 17 year olds from harm, abuse and neglect.

 

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR SERIOUSLY AWKWARD CAMPAIGN

 

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