Most people have probably never heard the term “stealthing.” However, two members of Congress contend that it is sexual assault and should be dealt with by lawmakers. Stealthing occurs when someone, either a man or woman, removes a condom while having sex unbeknownst to their partner.
The practice gained some notoriety early this year in a report published in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law. The authors addressed the possibility of legal ramifications since it could lead to pregnancy or a sexually-transmitted disease.
Beyond that, according to the report, “Survivors experienced nonconsensual condom removal as a clear violation of their bodily autonomy and the trust they had mistakenly placed in their sexual partner.”
The two members of Congress, Carolyn Maloney of New York and Ro Khanna of California, in a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, described stealthing as an “emerging” phenomenon that is “incredibly dangerous.” They asked the committee to hold a hearing on stealthing.
Rep Maloney said that they need to “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.” Rep. Khanna added, “Consent is not up for discussion…[and] is a requirement for the entirety of any sexual interaction.”
It may be some time before stealthing is addressed under federal law. However, lawmakers in at least two states have proposed legislation to make it illegal.
If you or a loved one has been charged with sexual assault or any sexually-based offense, it’s essential to take the charge seriously. A Maryland criminal defense attorney can provide important guidance.
Source: USA Today, “‘Stealthing’ is sexual assault and Congress should address it, lawmakers say,” Sean Rossman, Oct. 04, 2017