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Key messages

  • Be aware of the risk factors and signs of a sexually exploitative relationship to make sure it is not mistaken for a consensual sexual relationship.
  • Be aware of the law around what sexual acts are legal for young people.
  • Developing safety and support networks for a young person is critical to making connections with the young person, and promoting their safety, belonging and wellbeing.
  • Don't assume young people know everything. Advice about sex, sexuality, puberty, menstruation, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases is critical. Young people may present as worldly and confident when really they have limited understanding and need clear information.


In this part, the term ‘young person’ is used to describe adolescents between 12 and 18 years old.

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