Lawmakers look to classify 'stealthing' as rape
"A new tort for 'stealthing' is necessary."
Two US lawmakers are hoping that Congress can classify the sexual act of 'stealthing' as a form of sexual assault.
The act is the secret removal of a condom during sex.
The term came into public consciousness in the early months of 2017 when the Columbia Journal for Gender and Law published an article about non-consensual condom removal.
The author of that study, Alexandra Brodsky, spoke to survivors of the practice at the time and also spent a large chunk of hours on online discussion boards where men discuss and advocate for the act.
If the practice takes place during sex, it turns the act from consensual to non-consensual.
In Brodsky's study, she firmly stated that: "ultimately, a new law for 'stealthing' is necessary both to provide victims with a more viable cause of action and to reflect better the harms wrought by nonconsensual condom removal."
That law has not been created just yet but According to The Independent, Democratic Representatives Ro Khanna, who is from California, and Carolyn Maloney, from New York have sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee asking its members to address the problem.
In the letter, the pair said:
“Consent is not up for discussion, it is a requirement for the entirety of any sexual interaction. Stealthing violates an agreement between partners and is a dangerous form of sexual assault.
“The implications of the practice of non-consensual condom removal are far-reaching with respect to the ongoing national conversation on the definition of consensual sex.
"Recent legal and academic articles have considered how nonconsensual condom removal could, in fact, turn consensual sex into nonconsensual sex by way of different legal mechanisms," they said in the letter.
"We need a hearing so that Congress can hear from the experts about how to best address this issue as we continue to amend our country's and universities' responses to sexual assault and rape."
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence the Rape Crisis Centre operates a national 24-hour helpline 1800 77 8888.