Friday, June 10, 2022
Federal Legislation Proposed to Prohibit "Stealthing" (Nonconsensual Condom Removal) as Sexual Assault
Proposed Federal Law Prohibits Nonconsensual Condom Removal
Legislation introduced last week would create a new federal civil rights violation of “condom stealthing”—the removing of a condom during sex without verbal consent from a partner, which forces someone to have unprotected sex without their consent. Introduced by U.S. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Norma J. Torres (D-Calif.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), the proposed law recognizes the right to sexual self-determination including the right to choose what conditions are placed on consent to sex.
“Stealthing is a grave violation of autonomy, dignity and trust that is considered emotional and sexual abuse,” said Maloney. “Congress has an obligation to address stealthing at the federal level and allow survivors to hold those that have stealthed them accountable. Stealthing is a horrific act of sexual violence and must be put to an end.”
“Stealthing or nonconsensual condom removal is a violation of trust and dignity and a dangerous form of sexual assault,” said Khanna. “We need to do more to protect victims.”
Maloney, Torres and Khanna have introduced two bills:
- The Stealthing Act of 2022 would create a federal civil right of action for survivors of nonconsensual condom removal.
- The Consent is Key Act would encourage states to voluntarily pass laws authorizing civil damages for survivors of nonconsensual condom removal by increasing funding levels for federal domestic violence prevention programs in states that pass these laws.
“Consent is key, it is that simple,” said Torres. “Nonconsensual condom removal is sexual violence that can have lifelong consequences, and survivors of such violence deserve to have their voices heard, and deserve justice. This legislation will ensure survivors can turn to the courts for relief and will boost federal domestic violence programs to help as many survivors as possible. Everyone deserves to have their autonomy respected.”
Both pieces of legislation were inspired by a California law passed last October, making it a civil sexual battery offense for someone to remove a condom during sex without verbal consent from their partner. The law allows victims of stealthing to sue their perpetrators for damages and relief. California was the first state to pass a law against condom stealthing.