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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » My relationship is definitely illegal

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Author Topic: My relationship is definitely illegal
EauDbedroomDancing
Neophyte
Member # 70608

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I'm turning 17 in September, and my boyfriend turned 20 last month. We've been together since I was 15 and he was 18. I've had to hide this from my parents for over a year. When we first started dating, I told them he was 17. I love my boyfriend very much, and I know he loves me too.

I know a lot of you are probably thinking he's some creepy pervert who only wants me for sex. But he never ONCE pressured me to have sex, we did it for the first time about 3 months ago after dating for a year. And it was me who told him that I was ready to have sex. He lost his virginity to a girlfriend before me who was a year older than him.

I know this was a lot of info (sorry!) But I guess what it all boils down to is how can I get people to not look down on me for this? He's my first boyfriend, but people at school are always calling me things like "slut" or "jail-bait". I'm not going to break up with my boyfriend, but is there anyway I can avoid negative reactions from people about our age difference?

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"My whole life looked like a picture of a sunny day..."

Posts: 34 | From: Los Angeles, CA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
blush
Activist
Member # 69019

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I am really really sorry I can't help you more. [Frown] I don't know why anyone would call you this if your in a happy, consensual relationship. I just wanted to let you know your not alone in this type of relationship. There are plenty of girls in my school who I know and don't know well that are girlfriends to guys who are in college or in their 20s. In fact its pretty normal from what I've seen around my school and the area here. My best friend is in one and the guy she is with really has his life on track (rich, successful, a sweetie, etc). I never understood why people would frown down on it (your 4 years apart! That nothing!) because I've seen these relationships work out (as well as not it depends on the people) better then some "adult" relationships. If your happy with him you should ignore what others say. Try distancing yourself from those people and if they tell you that just say your happy and in love. It doesn't matter if it will work forever (which it might!) but that it works /now/ and that you are both happy /now/. And then ignore them. [Smile] Best of luck to you two!
Posts: 60 | From: Windy LittleTown | Registered: Jun 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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By all means, no need to make assumptions. This is a very diverse community where a lot of users, and certainly staff, are used to having sensitive, nuanced discussions about sex, sexuality and relationships, including issues of law around them. Most folks don't tend to make snap judgments or assumptions here and understand and appreciate that support is always the main order of the day.

It sounds to me like you're being sexually harassed at school, and that's not something that's about what YOU are doing: that's about people harassing you and, potentially, your school not enforcing protections for students around harassment.

Now, obviously, this is tricky for you to report. It's not unlawful to have a relationship with anyone around the age of consent. The laws are around sexual activity in relationships, not about hanging out and dating sans sex.

Honestly, if you want my best advice, since your partner is three years older than you, which makes sex a FELONY for him in California, I would strongly advise you both to consider taking sex off the table until you're 18. Lifelong sex offender status is no joke, and has lifelong and very serious consequences for people charged with a sex offense like this. However you or I may feel about the soundness of these laws, they're there all the same, and since it sounds like your sexual relationship is something people know about, you both need to assume that means someone could report this anytime. Okay?

The other good news about taking sex off the table is that then you can feel more able to report being harassed without worry about your boyfriend being charged or having to lie about being sexual together if you get asked about that when reporting.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
EauDbedroomDancing
Neophyte
Member # 70608

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I'm sorry for assuming that people would jump to conclusions D: I'm just really used to that happening at my school.

I've never told, or gave anybody a reason to think that we're sexually active. Everybody just kind of assumes we are because of his age. I know taking sex out of our relationship would avoid a lot of problems. And I know my boyfriend would respect my wishes if I said I want to wait until I'm 18.

But I'm not sure if I want to take sex out of our relationship. It's become a big part of our relationship, and I really do enjoy it. I'll just have to be really careful about what I say to people, and ignore the stupid kids in my classes.

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"My whole life looked like a picture of a sunny day..."

Posts: 34 | From: Los Angeles, CA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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No need to be sorry, I just wanted you to know that's not something people usually need to worry about here. We're very dedicated to making and keeping this a safe space.

While I'm reluctant to put responsibility for this on the younger person, when an adult...well, should be thinking and acting like one, I do feel the need to ask: do you have any sense of what sex offender status means for a person who is assigned it? And that unless they can manage to get charges reversed, it is something that has repercussions, major ones, for a whole lifetime? Like limiting where someone can live and work?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I'm heading out soon, so to not leave you hanging, here's a piece about some of the worst outcomes of these kinds of situations that just came up today on the wires: http://www.marieclaire.com/world-reports/news/teen-sex-offender

I do want to make clear that is about really bad outcomes. It is not what happens every time. However, with parents you're being dishonest with, and a school abuzz with gossip about you, and him being a legal adult, someone reporting this seems likely to me and like something you should both figure is a very real possibility with very real, and potentially truly awful,l consequences. That's a lot to risk for sex, in my book.

I do think it's wise for you to share that with your partner for him to consider, especially since he's the one who would suffer the most from this, by a serious long shot. I also think it'd be a good idea for you two to talk about it together.

Just FYI, I also think nothing makes harassment okay, and hate to see you in a position where you feel unable to report being harassed so it gets addressed by your school administration and, ideally, stops.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
EauDbedroomDancing
Neophyte
Member # 70608

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After reading this, I'm definitely going to talk to my boyfriend. I'm pretty sure no one at my school would report us, because people have been harassing me about this for over a year and nothing extreme has happened so far. My parents would be upset if they found out his real age, but I know they wouldn't report him or anything. And I doubt any teachers know...but still, I should talk to him.

It also would be really great to be able to tell someone who can help me about the kids harassing me.

Thanks for your advice, it's given me a lot to think about. And I'm going to discuss this with my boyfriend tomorrow.

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"My whole life looked like a picture of a sunny day..."

Posts: 34 | From: Los Angeles, CA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
atm1
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 37835

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Too?

Speaking as a teacher, if a teacher hears about you engaging in sexual activity with him AND hears about his age, they are mandated by law to report to Child Protective Services.

Also speaking as a teacher, teachers hear a lot more than you think they do, though we do tend to take a lot of things with a big grain of salt. So plain old rumors are unlikely to cause a teacher to report unless they are otherwise concerned about you (or have undeniable proof of the sexual activity, which basically means you'd have to be having sex *where your teachers would see* which well... I certainly hope you'd never do!). That concern could be another student approaching them with a concern about you, though, because that's really different from overhearing students talking about rumors. Does that all make sense?

If a student comes to a teacher or counseling to report harassment because of *rumored* sexual activity, I'd say it's profoundly unlikely that they'd report anything, particularly given that you wouldn't have to disclose any information about your boyfriend--you'd just need to describe the harassment.

I strongly encourage you to talk to your guidance counselor about the harassment. If they don't do anything, we can talk about ways to make sure that they do (they are legally required to intervene in sexual harassment cases).

Posts: 2262 | From: in transition | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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