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South Australia is set to criminalise stealthing with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment

Rachel Lang

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| Last updated 

South Australia is set to criminalise stealthing with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment

An Australian state is planning to set harsh penalties for men who remove condoms during sex without their partner's consent, an act colloquially known as 'stealthing'.

A bill to outlaw the sex practice was passed in South Australian (SA) parliament's upper house.

With government support, the bill will go on to pass through the lower house and. become a crime with harsh legislative penalties.

SA Best politician Connie Bonaros described the non-consensual sex act as 'repugnant' and a 'disgusting act of betrayal'.

Bonaros believes her private member's bill will make sure that it is dealt with appropriately by both police and the justice system.

Credit: Prostock-studio / Alamy
Credit: Prostock-studio / Alamy

"It should have been criminalised years ago but hasn’t – that stops today with the new laws I am proposing, which I don’t believe will get much - if any - opposition from any politician," she said in a statement.

The new laws proposed by the SA Best MP will mean that the removal of a condom during sex without the consent of the other person will now be a crime punishable by up to life imprisonment.

Bonaros quoted a Monash University study that revealed the staggering number of victims of the non-consensual act.

"Stealthing is more common than most people believe, with a recent study revealing that one in three women and one in five men who had sex with men had been the victim of stealthing - that’s a shocking statistic," she said.

“You can’t begin to imagine the level of damage to both a person’s physical and psychological well being."

Credit: Dmitrii Melnikov / Alamy.
Credit: Dmitrii Melnikov / Alamy.

She added: "This includes the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted infection and/or disease, unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, severe mental health/depression, and in some reported cases, post-traumatic stress disorder."

Bonaros added that the health impacts do not take into consideration the 'sense of shock and betrayal' someone can experience from having their consent violated in such a way.

The politician said: "Such grotesque acts of indecency deserve to be treated in the same manner as rape and a crime punishable by terms of imprisonment."

The Australian states of Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory have already passed similar laws.

A bill was introduced by South Australia's former Liberal government last year but it did not pass through the lower house prior to the 2022 state election in March.

Featured Image Credit: Prostock-studio / Alamy. Brian Jackson / Alamy.

Topics: Australia, News, Crime, Sex and Relationships

Rachel Lang
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