Taking off a condom during sex becomes serious crime in Australian capital – as ‘sneaking’ incidents increase
- Removing a condom without permission during sex, also known as ‘stealthing’
- It is not illegal, but is under investigation across Australia for violating consent
- The Canberra Liberals submitted a bill to the ACT parliament to make it a crime
- Monash study found that one in three women, one in five men was the victim
- New Zealand man convicted of rape for removing condoms in April 2021
A bill has been submitted to the ACT parliament to make the ‘heinous’ act of removing a condom without permission during sex illegal.
The leader of the Canberra Liberals, Elizabeth Lee, on Thursday submitted a bill to the ACT Legislative Assembly “to explicitly define” stealthing “as a factor that nullifies consent.”
She was scathing about its impact on victims.
Politicians and law reformers across Australia are working to make the ‘heinous’ act of sneaking, which is widely regarded as a form of sexual assault as well as a crime
“Creeping risks to both physical and mental health, including the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and illnesses, unplanned pregnancies, depression, anxiety and in some cases post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Ms. Lee.
She called it ‘a terrible thing to do’ for everyone, adding that it ‘destroys’ the trust someone can place in someone in the most vulnerable moments.
“It is a violation of dignity and autonomy.”
A 2018 Monash University survey that polled 2,000 people found that a third of women and 20 percent of gay men had been victims of sneaking.
Stealthing is widely regarded as sexual assault, although it is not currently against the law in Australian jurisdictions.
“This bill is about making our laws clearer, making our community safer, and making our voices loud and clear that yes means yes and no means no,” Ms. Lee said.
It recently came into the picture after a man was convicted of rape for removing a condom while having sex in Wellington, New Zealand.
Put it on, keep it on … removing a condom without permission during sex could soon become a crime in the ACT while the ‘violation’ is being considered in NSW and Victoria
The man will appear in court for sentencing later this month in a case expected to set a precedent for future trials.
In New South Wales, the Law Reform Commission devoted several pages to the issue of sneaking in its Consent Discussion Paper Regarding Sexual Offenses, concluding that “sneaking is criminal behavior.”
The NSW government has yet to respond to the newspaper.
Stealthing was also mentioned by the County Court of Victoria’s response to the Victorian Law Reform Commission paper, Improving the Judicial System’s Response to Sexual Crimes.
The district court considered the creeping of a “new crime” that was not covered by the existing laws.