Wisconsin and California lawmakers take aim at 'stealthing'

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After a survey revealed "stealthing", or the practice of a person removing a condom during sex without getting consent to do so from their partner, is becoming more common, legislators in two states are looking to define the act as sexual assault.

"Quite frankly, I believe very much that it's time to get serious about what consent is".

And while there are now no known US laws that encompass stealthing as sexual assault, other countries such as Switzerland and Canada have already prosecuted condom compromisers. Garcia announced her bill at a rally with Planned Parenthood, denouncing online forums that have encouraged the practice as a way for a male to assert his right to "spread his seed".

"Nonconsensual condom removal during sexual intercourse exposes victims to physical risks of pregnancy and disease and, interviews make clear, is experienced by many as a grave violation of dignity and autonomy", Ms. Brodsky, wrote in her research paper "'Rape-Adjacent': "Imagining Legal Responses to Nonconsensual Condom Removal".

Houser said that the burden of proof is hard enough for pre-existing laws on sexual assault and rape, and that that over-reliance on the criminal justice system can stop citizens and lawmakers from making the small changes that would prevent sexual violence, like discussions of consent and bodily autonomy, and more progressive sex education.

Sargent, who has already introduced a bill seeking the inclusion of stealthing in the legal definition of rape, said she has been aware of the concept of stealthing for years, but did not know there was a word describing the act until she read an April article in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law authored by law student Alexandra Brodsky.

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But one expert in the field of sexual assault prevention and awareness isn't convinced that legislation like this will have a profound effect on the issue. Unlike Sargent's proposal, it doesn't apply to other contraceptive devices. Yet while writing her article, Brodsky told the Chicago Tribune, she found no record of a United States court ever hearing a stealthing case.

Local law enforcement, including the Madison Police Department and the University of Wisconsin Police Department, told NBC News that they have never received a report of "stealthing" in the area.

The proposed amendment was introduced by Democrat Assemblywomam Cristina Garcia, of the 58th district.

"Unfortunately, this is an action that has been happening for quite some time", she said.

"I've heard from a number of people who said, 'I felt terribly betrayed, but I didn't know what to call it, so I didn't know I was right to be angry, right to be hurt, '" Brodsky told the Tribune.

She told As It Happens she will fight tooth-and-nail to pass it.

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