California could become 1st in U.S. to make stealthing illegal

California

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – California could become the first state in the U.S. to make the act of removing a condom during sex without consent – also known as stealthing – illegal.

AB-453, introduced by California Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) would classify nonconsensual condom removal as sexual battery.

The bill would also allow a victim to pursue a claim for emotional and physical damages under the state’s civil code, which would be amended to say that an individual commits sexual battery if the person “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.”

In a press release introducing her bill, Garcia said she had been working on the issue of stealthing since 2017, saying she “won’t stop until there is some accountability for those who perpetrate the act.”

She also referenced the HBO series “I May Destroy You,” which explores consent, trauma, and recovery.

A 2017 report published in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law found stealthing is a trend in sexual assault that is on the rise, as more people report it has happened to them.

If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit their website to receive confidential support.

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