The purpose of setting an age of consent is to protect an underage person from sexual advances.The term age of consent rarely appears in legal statutes.
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There are many "grey areas" in this area of law, some regarding unspecific and untried legislation, others brought about by debates regarding changing societal attitudes, and others due to conflicts between federal and state laws.
These factors all make age of consent an often confusing subject, and a topic of highly charged debates.
“An Overview of Abortion Laws,” State Laws and Policies,” Guttmacher Institute, December 2017, https:// Accessed December 2017.
“An Overview of Minors’ Consent Laws,” State Laws and Policies, Guttmacher Institute, December 2017, https:// Accessed December 2017.
In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity.
Individuals aged 17 or younger in Virginia are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.
“Citizen’s Guide to United States Federal Child Exploitation and Obscenity Laws,” The U. Department of Justice, November 2015, https:// Accessed December 2017.
“Code of Virginia: Age of Majority,” Commonwealth of Virginia, 2017, https://virginia.gov/vacode/title1/chapter2.1/section1-204/ Accessed December 2017.
One or more of these charges may be used to prosecute violations of the Virginia Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Virginia equivalent of that charge.
The severity of the criminal charge (felony, misdemeanor, etc) depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the relative ages of the perpetrator and victim.
“Emergency Room Requirements to Offer Emergency Contraception Services to Sexual Assault Survivors,” Henry J.