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Change the age of consent to 18

There is confusion in the law over whether a person becomes an adult at age 16 or 18 and retired magistrate Faith Marshall-Harris wants it cleared up.

Faith Marshall-Harris

Faith Marshall-Harris

“The law is confused. There is the Minors Act, which speaks of the age of majority at 18, but when you put that one Act against about six others that talk about 16, you realize you can’t make any blanket statement,” she told a meeting of the Barbados Association of Professional Social Workers over the weekend.

She noted that under the law, 16 was the age of consent. It is also the recognized age of majority under the Education Act, as well as in terms of the country’s labour and juvenile justice laws.

“You go right through all our legislation and you’ll find it more to be 16 than 18,” said Marshall-Harris.

Furthermore, “the Constitution by implication suggests that you need a doctor or a guardian with you if you are charged [until] the age of 16.

“What is implied there is that at 16 you are on your own. So that is where our dilemma is.

“I hope one of these days we are able to change it to 18,” she added.

Marshall-Harris, a member of the Family Law Council, also welcomed plans for the establishment of a family court on the island, saying it was generally accepted in common law jurisdictions that the family court was the best way of handling family matters, as well as those involving children.

“At the end of the day the child is a child of two persons and even if those two persons decide that they want to go their separate ways, the child should never suffer as a result . . . the way it [the family court] approaches these matters is significantly different to other courts,” said Marshal-Harris, who presided over an informal family court for 10 years.

16 Responses to Change the age of consent to 18

  1. Philip Matthews
    Philip Matthews July 21, 2015 at 8:46 am

    change it !

  2. Kimberley Will
    Kimberley Will July 21, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Changing the age of consent AND the laws on statutory rape.

  3. Louise King
    Louise King July 21, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Govt want to change for de wrong reason—-

  4. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte July 21, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Not only Consent but should be the age of exiting school, obtaining a driver’s license, for accessing adults event (non-family), etc

  5. Pee Parris
    Pee Parris July 21, 2015 at 11:02 am

    The way the kids’ hormones raging, I don’t think the age makes a difference, instil good moral values first and help them with their self esteem

  6. Candice Elenor
    Candice Elenor July 21, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Here in the US it is 18 .. so i guess thats ok ..but not under ..18 is a nice easy number lollll

  7. Kevin Cave
    Kevin Cave July 21, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    AND assign investigators to clamp down on human trafficking.

  8. Amber Nicole
    Amber Nicole July 21, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    I totallly agree…..but it won’t stop the teens from having sex, the sti from bbrewing, the unwanted pregnacies, or for the predators to stop attacking…..we will need a better solution than that…..yuh sighted?!!!

  9. Kimberley Will
    Kimberley Will July 21, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    It’s very confusing when you can consent to sexual intercourse at 16 but if you become pregnant or catch a STD you cannot get medical treatment without an adult present.

  10. Conchita Moseley
    Conchita Moseley July 21, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Changing the age of consent to 18 will only create more underage sex and pregnancy… More men sent to Jail for sexual abuse and underage sex, creating a big problem for Jails unless you are going to build a jail for sex offenders. Pure foolishness, educate the children about sex. Raising the age will not solve the present under age sex…..

  11. Dexter Squires
    Dexter Squires July 21, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    woman u talking bare bull…its 16yrs n stays dey…..shut up go home n rest yaself


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