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[ Legal rights within an older relationship ]

Shoestring - girl - 17 ans (7 October 2012)

I'm 17 years old,almost 18 years old. I often attend AA meetings with my older cousin as I dislike hanging out with people my own age,I sometimes feel as if they are immature.While I still do have friends my own age,I have been told by therapists that I matured much quickly than others my own age. My problem right now is concerning a"relationship"with an older guy.As I said, we met a few weeks ago and at the time, we did not know each others ages. I've had some bad relationships before, so I decided to take this slow. I told him about all my insecurities with relationships and he agreed to still being there for me regardless of our status. He is the only person I feel myself around. Unfortunately, my cousin recently went through a break up,but I stayed friends with the girl, causing him to be angry.In short, he was treating me badly the other night so I decided to go home,as there were no more buses at that time and the guy I'm"seeing"didn't want anything bad to happen to me, he offered to let me sleep at his place as it was 2am. Instead of lying to my mom, I decided to be responsible and tell her the truth.This resulted in her threatening to call the cops for"detournement de mineur"which I found out doesn't exist anymore,but still do not want the cops involved.So my real question is,what rights do I have in this situation given that the guy is 10 years older than me and is it a bad idea to even fight for this, although I am tired of her trying to run my life. Thanks

Tel-jeunes’ answer

Hello Shoestring,

Many teenagers ask questions about the legal status of their relationships.

The legal consent age for sexual relationships in Quebec is 16 years old. If there is a relationship of authority such as a teacher/student, trainer/trainee, intervener/client, etc. than consent is not valid until you are 18 years old. Therefore, since you are 17 years old you can consent to a relationship or sexual activities with an adult. Those it clarify your situation Shoestring?

There is also the fact that a minor is under the legal responsibility of their parents until they are 18 years old. This means parents have the power to restrict their children about who they can or not see and develop a relationship with. Although, parents in the situation that you are describing cannot take any legal action. Some parents have issues with their children developing a relationship with someone who has an age difference. What reasons do you think parents would be concerned about these things? What could be the possible consequences on you? Some parents will be safer if they know the other person better. How would you feel if they met? How do you think he would feel? What would be a good reason for him to decline such a meeting?

I'll let you reflect on all of this and don't hesitate to write to us again if you ever feel the need to.


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