On the occasion of the adoption of the law in France, which left the possibility of an unpunished sexual relationship with a child younger than 15 if it agreed to sex, the Večernji list journalist Dijana Jurasić talked with Director Prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD, who emphasize that a child under the age of 15 can not give a mature consent to sexual activity:
“In Croatia, sexual intercourse with a child under 15 is abuse because it is considered that a child at that age can not give consent to sex with an adult. Some countries are even more stringent, so in Finland and Belgium the child should be at least 16 years old to give consent to sexual intercourse, and in Ireland it is 17 years old. Can a 13-year-old or 14-year-old be mature enough to decide to sleep with a 25-year-old?
– Children under 15 years of age can not give mature consent. The limit for consent to sexual intercourse should be a minimum of 15 years because of criticism centers in the brain in children have not been developed to be able to give mature consent. Well, we know why the child up to 18 years. Children under the age of 15 years are immature for such an important decision and it is not a matter of worldview, but developmental psychology, well-being and best interests of children – resolutely said psychologist Prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD, Director of the Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb. She claims that limits of consent to sexual intercourse should be raised to 16 years in Croatia. She warns that adults are responsible to set limits for the welfare of children, and do not open the door to pedophiles who abuse children and often seek justification claiming that that child enjojy with them and that the child consented to sex.
– Pedophiles spend a lot of time on the child’s seduction and then it happens that a child with 12, 13 years consent to sexual intercourse and felt in love with pedophiles or the attention that they showered, but that does not mean mature consent. Pedophiles are more likely to come to vulnerable children who do not have attention at home however, justify that the child consented to the relationship – points out Buljan Flander. She encounter with the children who thought they give consent to sexual intercourse. After they realize that it was abuse. ”
The text published on August 5, 2018 can be read in the Večernji list at the link (Croatian language): https://www.vecernji.hr/vijesti/lolita-u-francuskoj-danas-ne-bi-bila-zrtva-zlostavljanja-1262276