WE'RE ON A MISSION
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is working to eliminate all forms of sexual violence and to advocate for the rights and needs of victims of sexual assault.
Sexual intercourse with a victim under 16 years of age and a perpetrator being four or more years older (this definition is specific to Pennsylvania). Read more about Pennsylvania state laws.
Although some relationships between teens and those older than them are consensual, meaning they are not forced but are willing participants in the relationship or sexual contact, it is still considered rape by law.
Consensual sex or “romantic relationships” between minors and older minors by four years or adults violates the trust and authority dynamic the older person has over the younger. These cases often involve older teens with younger peers or cases where adults are involved with minors (someone under 18). The power and control dynamic in these relationships is skewed toward the older individual therefore putting the minor in a position where they are abused.
Teens 16 to 19 are 3.5 times more likely to be victims of rape than the general population.
Persons under 18 years of age account for 67% of all sexual assault victimizations reported to law enforcement agencies.
Snyder, Howard. Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics. U.S. Department of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. July 2000.
A study of 15 to 17 year old teenage mothers found that in 40% of the cases, the fathers of babies born to 15 year olds were five or more years older.
Men five or more years older than the mother, father about 1 in 5 infants born to unmarried minors.
Lindberg, Laura, Sonenstein, Freya, Ku, Leighton, Martinez, Gladys. “Age Differences Between Minors Who Give Birth and Their Adult Partners,” Family Planning Perspectives, Vol. 29, No. 2, March/April 1997.