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California Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Make ‘Stealthing’ During Sex Illegal



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A Southern California lawmaker has reintroduced legislation that would make it illegal to tamper with or remove a condom during sex without the knowledge or permission of the sex partner, a practice known as “stealthing.”

Assembly Member Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, introduced Assembly Bill 453, which would make stealthing illegal in the California Civil Code.

“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, but there is nothing in law that makes it clear that this is a crime,” said Garcia, who announced the bill Monday.

A study by Yale University calls stealthing “a grave violation of dignity and autonomy” and reports that cases are on the rise among women and gay men. The article also encourages new laws against the practice to allow victims to establish a cause of action.

Stealthing has also been called “rape-adjacent.”

Similar Bill Failed to Advance

Garcia introduced a similar bill in 2017 but shelved it because it lacked enough support to advance.

“I have been working on the issue of ‘stealthing’ since 2017. And I won’t stop until there is some accountability for those who perpetrate the act,” she said.

“Sexual assaults, especially those on women of color, are perpetually swept under the rug. So much stigma is attached to this issue, that even after every critic lauded Micheala Coel’s ‘I May Destroy’ for its compelling depiction of the horrors of sexual abuse including of ‘stealthing,’ it got zero Golden Globe nominations. That doesn’t seem like an accident or coincidence to me.”

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