By: Thu Nguyen
Date: Oct. 13, 2021
SAN JOSE, CALIF- California governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on Oct. 7, making it now illegal for California citizens to remove condoms without their partner’s consent. This act is otherwise known as “stealthing” or the removal of a condom during sexual intercourse without consent of the other partner.
The signing of the bill AB-453 makes California the first state in the U.S. to render stealthing as illegal. This new measure amends towards the state’s civil code, defining stealthing as a form of sexual battery. The new meaning of sexual battery in the state presently demonstrates a circumstance where “a person…causes contact between a sexual organ, from which a condom has been removed, and the intimate part of another who did not verbally consent to the condom being removed.”
This means that people will now be able to sue their perpetrators directly in civil court if they choose to. With the removal of condoms during intercourse, not only are people at risk for pregnancy but also sexually transmitted diseases. With the introduction of this new law, victims of sexual assault can finally get the justice they deserve.
Approval for this new law is shown by Lauren Nguyen, a junior at Silver Creek High School. When she was told about this law that would permit victims to get equity for their trauma, she replied, “I’m all for it.” The new legislation can hopefully curve teen pregnancy rates, as well as lower sexual assault numbers.
The bill is sponsored by the state assembly, Cristina Garcia, in hope that “people will build on this and continue engaging in discussion around the continuum of consent.” Garcia has reportedly demonstrated her support for this bill on her Twitter.
This legislation is Garcia’s response to numerous calls for a new legal approach to stealthing. In a press release this September, Garcia talks of treating non-consensual condom removal during sex as a type of sexual violation, in which an effort should be created to “provide victims with a more viable cause of action and to reflect better the harms wrought by nonconsensual condom removal.”