Stealthing Now Classified As Rape, State Lawmakers Rule
State lawmakers are now proposing that stealthing -- the act of removing a condom during coitus without permission -- will be classified as a sexual assault. If passed, the bill introduced by Democratic Rep. Melissa Sargent will change the definition of "consent" under Wisconsin Law.
The Washington Post stated that the bill categorized sex as nonconsensual if one partner removes a "sexually protective device" without permission from the other partner. Thus, if the intercourse is nonconsensual, it will be, by law, a form of sexual assault. She also said on Twitter that the issue is not whether or not this is happening, but if anyone is doing anything about it. Rep. Sargent also mentioned that since introducing the legislation, people from Madison and the university have shared their own stories about their experiences with such violation.
Wisconsin is not the only state to pass such law. California State Rep. Cristina Garcia introduced a new bill that describes stealthing as a violation of consent, as it exposes victims to unwanted pregnancy and STDs. CBS News quoted Rep. Garcia in a statement, saying that "Stealthing is rape. Penetration without consent is rape."
"Stealthing" made headlines last month. The subject went viral following a paper published in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law. In the publication, author Alexandra Brodsky recounted the experiences of victims and the lack of recognition for what happened to them in the U.S. legal system. Brodsky did not even coin the term herself. In fact, it seems that men who promoted such act started calling it that way.
Wisconsin's local law enforcement, including the Madison Police Department and the University of Wisconsin Police Department, for instance, said that they never received a report of "stealthing" and are quite unfamiliar with the term. Campus police spokesman Marc Lovicott told NBC News in an email that they have not experienced investigating a case of stealthing before.