California Becomes First State to Create Law Against 'Stealthing'


Stealthing is the act of removing a condom without consent during sex.

Two new California laws will help provide more rights to victims of sexual assault. The first law, AB 453, will make it a civil sexual battery offense to engage in stealthing, which is removing a condom without a partner’s consent.

The other law, AB 1171, targets spousal rape and eliminates an existing rule that doesn’t acknowledge spousal rape as it does non-spousal rape.

Before Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the new law into effect, rape had previously been defined as an “act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person not the spouse of the perpetrator under certain circumstances," CBS News reported.

The new stealthing law, the first of its kind in the United States, according The Associated Press, will make it possible for victims to sue for damages and relief.

"Sexual assaults, especially those on women of color, are perpetually swept under the rug," Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, who introduced both bills said  in a statement. "...It's disgusting that there are online communities that defend and encourage stealthing and give advice on how to get away with removing the condom without the consent of their partner," CBS News reported.

Newsom's office pointed to a 2017 Yale study that found both men and women have been the victim of stealthing. Victims in the study described being scared of having contracted STI or getting pregnant, and felt that what they experienced was a “disempowering, demeaning violation of a sexual agreement." 

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