I was grabbing coffee with a friend when she told me something disturbing. She said that while having sex with her partner, he had removed his condom without her knowledge. She only knew after the fact and left immediately feeling betrayed and confused. She was horrified that he would do this since they had both agreed to use a condom. She was incredibly upset because although she knew it was sexual assault, she could not find any laws that would punish the man who had done this.
After hours on the internet, my friend and I both realized that this act is more common than we have thought. Below are thing 7 things you should know about stealthing:
- Stealthing is the removal of a condom during sex without the other partner’s consent.
- The disturbing trend affects both straight and queer communities.
- Despite what you may have heard, it is not a trendy way to have sex; it is a form of sexual assault.
- The practice is not addressed in the United States courts, so the lack of legal recognition results in victims feeling confused and violated.
- It puts people at risk for sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
- A common theme, according to multiple interviews of victims, is that they felt violated, but just could not pinpoint exactly what had transpired.
- Just so you know how serious it is:
- In January of 2016, a court in Switzerland convicted a man of rape for removing his condom without the consent of his partner while having sex. The rationale is that the woman would not have consented to have sex if she understood ahead of time that the man would remove his condom.
Thankfully, one legislator in California is looking to criminalize the act of stealthing so victims have a vehicle for justice. AB 1033, introduced by Cristina Garcia “makes the nonconsensual intentional removal or tampering with a condom during sexual intercourse a form of rape.”
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) believes that all people deserve to make an informed decision regarding their bodies and that promoting a culture of consent is clearly tied to reproductive health rights and justice. Because of these reasons, PPAC is incredibly proud to support this bill. What you can do if you feel like you have been a victim of stealthing:
What you can do if you feel like you have been a victim of stealthing: