There are lots of issues around sex and relationships that can be difficult to talk about. This page will point you in the direction of things to think about and organisations who can help you.

Thinking of going all the way? Know your facts.

  • Most people don’t have sex until they’re over 16
  • Research shows that those who have had sex under the age of 16 are more likely to regret it and less likely to use contraception
  • Unprotected sex is always risky as it could lead to unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (sometimes referred to as STIs or STDs)
  • Sex without a condom is seriously risky; always use a condom
  • There are 13 methods of contraception including the pill for you to choose from
  • Some STIs, particularly chlamydia, have no symptoms
  • You can’t tell by looking who has an STI, but fewer partners = less risk of getting an STI

Contraception Services/Family Planning Clinics

If you’ve had unprotected sex, had a condom split or forgotten your regular method of contraception then you may be at risk of an unplanned pregnancy or an infection.

You can get information, help and advice in confidence from The Centre Sexual Health Clinic, with branches all over Devon. The staff are specialists in managing difficult, confidential situations.

Free emergency contraception is available at most pharmacies if you’re under 18.  Remember that it must be taken within 72 hours and the sooner the better (if it is over 72 hours, your local sexual medicine clinic may still be able to help).

Child Sexual Exploitation (or CSE as it is sometimes referred to) is a term that explains what happens when abusers encourage children and young people under 18 into sexually exploitative situations, contexts and relationships. These often involve the young person being given things such as food, accommodation, drugs, affection, gifts or money in return for performing sexual activities. People can often be groomed for a period of time before physical or sexual abuse takes place.

You might have heard about this happening to young girls in Rotherham. The reality is it can happen to anyone, anywhere – even in Devon – and here, over half of the people doing the grooming and exploitation are under 18. According to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre most child sexual exploitation offences take place online. Analysis by the centre reveals that 13 and 14 year olds represent the largest single victim group of online exploitation.

You can read some real life examples of CSE here.

If you are worried this is happening to you or someone you know, call 999 and speak to the police.