California becomes first state to ban secret removal of condom during sex

WION Web Team
California, United States Updated: Oct 10, 2021, 02:45 PM(IST)

(Representative Image) Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

Along with including 'stealthing', California has also become the first state to differentiate between spousal rape and non-spousal rape

Fighting for justice for women, the state of California has declared that anyone who secretly removes a condom during sex without verbal consent from their partner will be charged with civil sexual battery offense.

With the hope of providing more rights for victims of sexual assault, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed two new laws that tackle ‘stealthing’ and spousal rape.

Introduced by Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, removing a condom secretly without a verbal consent from the partner will now be prohibited and illegal under AB 453. Victims of stealthing can now sue the person who removed the condom against violation for damages and relief.

Also read | Spanish doctor writes 'current illness: homosexual' for a gay woman

"Sexual assaults, especially those on women of color, are perpetually swept under the rug," Garcia said in a statement. "...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." 

People found guilty of stealthing can now be held liable for general, special and punitive damages according to the law.

This law has been brought into place after a 2017 Yale study revealed that women and men around the world have been victims of stealthing. Victims were not just worried about getting pregnant or getting infected by sexually transmitted diseases, but also felt that the experience was "disempowering, demeaning violation of a sexual agreement".

Also read | Status of women and state of feminism in China

California has also become the first state to differentiate between spousal rape and non-spousal rape. Earlier, rape was defined as an act of sexual intercourse forced upon a person by anyone other than their spouse. However, now if the partner does not give consent for sexual intercourse that will be made illegal under the new spousal rape law. The latest law has eliminated the provision to include spousal rape under the definition of rape.

"Rape is rape," Assemblywoman Garcia said in a statement. "And a marriage license is not an excuse for committing one of society's most violent and sadistic crimes. AB 1171 will mandate adherence to a law that will protect vulnerable spouses in a union." 

Read in App