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Calls grow to reassess 'problematic' age of consent laws after Russell Brand allegations

Stewart Perrie

| Last updated 

Calls grow to reassess 'problematic' age of consent laws after Russell Brand allegations

In the wake of the damning allegations against Russell Brand, there are growing calls for the UK to reassess its age of consent laws.

Four women have come forward to claim the British comedian victimised them when he was at the height of his fame.

He's been accused of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse.

One of the alleged victims was 16 and Brand was 31 when she says he assaulted her.


She told The Times they had a three-month relationship in 2006, which was just before he started making appearances in big Hollywood films.

Brand has denied all the allegations against him.


During an interview with BBC Radio 4, she reckons the UK should have 'staggered' ages of consent.


“There’s a reasonable argument [that] individuals between the ages of 16 and 18 can have relations with people within that same age bracket,” she explained to Women's Hour.

However, the woman believes there should be safeguards installed to stop older adults from sleeping with 16 and 17-year-olds.

“You’re allowed to make mistakes as a teenager, they should be with other people your own age," she added.

At the moment, the age of consent in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland is 16.


The woman has been supported by others in the UK who believe the age of consent needs a rethink.

Jayne Butler, CEO of Rape Crisis England and Wales, said in a statement: "The current law is problematic because it is creating a space where people don’t think relationships between young, potentially vulnerable people and someone much older is unacceptable."

Harriet Wistrich, director of the Centre for Women’s Justice, told The Independent: "I don’t think you could make sex between 16 and 17-year-olds illegal but we should look at whether there should be a presumption of non-consent when someone is a lot older and someone is still a teenager.”

She added: "We know older men will exploit young, vulnerable women. Someone under 18 can’t vote or drive a car - are they really in a position to make free decisions in relation to someone who is a lot older than them?”


Human rights barrister Charlotte Proudman said she has seen instances of men waiting until girls turn 16 to groom them.

"This isn’t an equal relationship, the power is already skewed," she said.

“When those girls become older and look back on what happened to them, many feel used and abused - rightly so. Just because it’s legal it doesn’t mean it’s not exploitative.”

Featured Image Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Topics: Russell Brand, UK News

Stewart Perrie
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