| Last updated
Removing a condom during sex without consent, also known as 'stealthing,' could become illegal in the US state of California.
If the California Assembly Bill 453 goes forward, it would categorise stealthing as a form of sexual battery and allow victims to sue the perpetrator for emotional and physical damages.
The bill would also amend the definition of sexual battery to include a person 'who causes contact between a penis, from which a condom has been removed, and the intimate part of another who did not verbally consent to the condom being removed'.
Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia told the LA Times that despite it being a prevalent issue, it hadn't yet been legally recognised.
"It's been going on for a while. There are blogs online that are helping individuals, teaching them how to get away with this," Garcia said.
She also told The Washington Post: "I want to make sure that a) victims have a legal course for justice and b) we have something in the books that facilities a discussion with all people, especially our youth, whether it's parents, educators, whether it's even the public safety system.
"Having something in the books allows us to do the education to hopefully create a consciousness that we shouldn't do certain things."
Disturbingly, it seems that stealing is on the rise, with a 2018 study by researchers at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre finding that one in three women and one in five men who have sex with men report being stealthed during sex.
"Survivors [of stealthing] describe nonconsensual condom removal as a threat to their bodily agency and as a dignitary harm," author Alexandra Brodsky told the Independent in 2017.
"'You have no right to make your own sexual decisions,' they are told. 'You are not worthy of my consideration.'"
In a new press release, Brodsky said the issue was becoming more recognised thanks to TV shows like HBO's I May Destroy You.
"Not just pop culture depictions of nonconsensual condom removal but discussion of its impact can really be powerful, both broadly in raising awareness and in giving survivors a vocabulary to express what happened to them," Brodsky said.
"Without language, without media, without depictions, I think it's easy for survivors to feel like they're the first person this has ever happened to, or that this is just part of sex.
"Not that this is a violation, that they have the right to decide to have sex with a condom and that agreement was broken."
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read