Lawmakers Want Stealthing To Be Classified As Rape

Two democratic lawmakers want congress to consider classifying "stealthing" as rape.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, stealthing is the non-consensual removal of a condom, during sex. In some instances, a person will poke holes in a condom without their partner's knowledge or consent.

And now, Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna (California), and Carolyn Maloney (New York) have asked members of the House Judiciary Committee to address the issue.

From BuzzFeed News:

The practice garnered national attention in April after Yale Law School graduate Alexandra Brodsky published an article on how online groups are perpetuating and encouraging the practice. Since then, stealthing has become a difficult and divisive part of the legal discourse on how to classify acts that don't fit the textbook definitions of rape and sexual assault.

“Consent is not up for discussion, it is a requirement for the entirety of any sexual interaction. Stealthing violates an agreement between partners and is a dangerous form of sexual assault,” said Khanna. “The implications of the practice of nonconsensual condom removal are far-reaching with respect to the ongoing national conversation on the definition of consensual sex.”

"The disgraceful practice" can lead to unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and can wreak psychological harm on victims, Khanna and Maloney wrote.

Said Rep. Maloney:

“I am horrified that we even need to be having this conversation, that a sexual partner would violate their partner’s trust and consent like this. Stealthing is sexual assault.

“We need a hearing so that Congress can hear from the experts about how to best address this issue as we continue to amend our country’s and universities’ responses to sexual assault and rape.”

Early last year, BuzzFeed gave a graphic account of a young Scottish man who says he was exposed to HIV in a stealthing incident.

Matt was about to leave a friend’s house when the messages arrived in WhatsApp. “I cummed in your ass without a condom,” wrote the man he had met in Edinburgh eight days earlier, who told him at the time he had used protection. It was followed by: “You’re a fucking revolting jack ass.” Matt stared at the screen. More abusive messages arrived immediately, then an emoji, the one that depicts crying with laughter.

As the implications began to sink in, Matt – who has asked for his real name not to be used – started to panic.

“I thought, Fuck, I think I might have been exposed to HIV,” he says now, recalling that moment last July. Frantic, he started searching on his phone for the websites of HIV charities, anywhere with information that might tell him how great the risk of transmission was and what he should do now. He discovered it was already too late to take PEP – post-exposure prophylaxis, the anti-HIV drugs that can be taken after unsafe sex to prevent the virus taking hold."