Shayal Devi, Thursday, January 23, 2014, The Fiji Times
MANY teenagers wish they had waited before engaging in sexual relations with their partners.
This is what counsellors have found when treating young people, says Empower Pacific CEO Patrick Morgam.
"This is not necessarily until they were married but until they had gotten to know their partner better," he said.
"There are all kinds of contraceptives that can help prevent against pregnancy and lessen the risk of STIs but while contraceptives are there to help protect your body, they can't protect your feelings and that's a huge part of what can change when you have sex with someone."
Mr Morgam said teenagers should know that it was OK not to have sex if they were not ready.
"If someone is forcing you to have sex, this is a criminal offence and can be reported to the police.
"Speak out to your parents, teachers, caregivers or a counsellor if someone is trying to pressure or force you to have sex with them."
He said communication between children and parents was vital in ensuring that young people were aware of the consequences of engaging in sexual activities at an early age.
"As a parent, you might feel weird talking about it for a range of reasons — like the fear of what questions they might ask or worry that the discussion will put ideas in their head."