California moves to outlaw ‘stealthing,’ or removing condom without consent – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-09-13 14:00:00 –

Last week, the California State Legislature approved the state’s first steps to outlaw stealthing: removing condoms during sex without the consent of a partner.

The bill, which was unanimously approved on Tuesday, is awaiting the signing of Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who must sign the law until October 10. A spokesman for the governor said his office did not comment on the pending bill.

If approved, the bill would amend the civil definition of state sexual assault and make stealthing a civil crime. In other words, the victim can sue the perpetrator for damages.

California State Legislature Cristina Garcia, who sponsored the bill, said the bill would give victims another resource to hold the perpetrators accountable.

“It will also reveal that this is not only moral but also illegal,” she said in an interview Thursday.

Democrat Garcia said he has tried to pass a bill that criminalizes stealthing since 2017, when Yale University research received widespread attention. But she came across quite the opposite.

The bill approved this week to make stealthing a civil crime is “a good first step,” Garcia said. She said she hoped to eventually lay the groundwork for adding stealthing to state criminal law.

According to a study published at the National Library of Medicine in 2019, 12% of women were victims of stealthing. According to another study that year, 10% of men allowed condoms to be removed during sexual intercourse without the consent of their partners.

Alexandra Brodsky, author of the 2017 Yale University study and author of the book Sexual Justice, which deals with various forms of institutional response to sexual harassment and assault, said the measures approved this week were to victims. He said it could bring “political and personal power”. She said that by defining stealthing as illegal, it removes the ambiguity surrounding stealthing, which tends to begin with consensual sex.

“Citizens’ remedies are not really being fully utilized,” Brodsky said, adding that the types of remedies allowed in the proceedings are often more useful to victims...

“There are many survivors who don’t want to see the people who hurt them in prison, and who can really use the help to cover medical debt, or have the resources to meet the therapist., ” Brodsky said.

She also said that civil lawsuits have low standards of evidence and may make it easier for victims to prove their cases in court.

Similar bills on stealthing have been introduced in New York and Wisconsin, but neither has been passed. Garcia said he hopes legislatures across the country will follow suit.

“It’s a big week for the victims,” ​​she said. “It’s a big week to talk about these issues, and a big week to talk about consent.”

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