Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee will today present a Bill to the Legislative Assembly to explicitly outlaw the heinous act of stealthing.
Stealthing is the non-consensual removal of a condom during sex.
A recent joint study by the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre and Monash University highlighted the prevalence of stealthing in our community. The report found that, of the thousands of respondents, a staggering one in three women, and nearly one in five men who have sex with other men, reported being victims of stealthing.
“Stealthing risks both physical and psychological health, including the transmission of sexually transmitted infections and disease, unplanned pregnancies, depression, anxiety and in some cases post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Ms Lee.
“It is an appalling thing to do to any woman; any man; any person. Stealthing completely erodes the trust that a person can put in someone during the most vulnerable of moments. It is a violation of dignity and autonomy.
“It can be a very traumatic thing to experience. It can take away a person’s self-determination, their agency, and leave them feeling completely vulnerable.
“My Bill will amend the existing consent provision within the Crimes Act to expressly define stealthing as a factor that negates consent.
“This Bill is about making our laws clearer, our community safer, and making our voice loud and clear that yes means yes and no means no.”
Recently, a man was convicted of rape in New Zealand, after he removed a condom during sex without the woman’s consent. This conviction sets a new precedent of recognising stealthing in criminal law in New Zealand, and with my bill, we too can make it clear that stealthing will and should be illegal in the ACT.
“As the issue of stealthing has been forced into the public eye, it is clear that our laws are not doing enough to address this heinous practice. It is a relatively new area within criminal law, and it is unclear whether it is illegal in the ACT,” said Ms Lee.
“This is an opportunity for the ACT to be at the forefront of these reforms and legislate proactively, instead of allowing more women and men to fall victim to such a heinous act,” Ms Lee concluded.
The Crimes (Stealthing) Amendment Bill 2021 will be tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly today.