Sacramento – Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) sent trailblazing legislation that would
include nonconsensual condom removal or ‘stealthing’ in the CA Civil Code to Governor Newsom for signature.
This legislation confirms that ‘stealthing’ is an illegal act that causes long term physical and emotional harm to its victims and those guilty of ‘stealthing’ should be held accountable under California law.
‘Stealthing’ is the nonconsensual and intentional removal or tampering with the condom during sexual intercourse. A study by Yale University (Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2017) calls “stealthing” “a grave violation of dignity and autonomy” and reports that cases of “stealthing” are on the rise among women and gay men. The article also encourages new Torts against the practice to allow victims to establish a cause of action. Stealthing has also been called rape-adjacent.
“I have been working on the issue of ‘stealthing’ since 2017. And I won’t stop until there is some accountability for those who perpetrate the act. Sexual assaults, especially those on women of color, are perpetually swept under the rug. So much stigma is attached to this issue, that even after every critic lauded Micheala Coel’s, I May Destroy for its compelling depiction of the horrors of sexual abuse including of ‘stealthing,’ it got zero Golden Globe nominations. That doesn’t seem like an accident or coincidence to me,” stated Assemblymember Garcia.
AB 453 passed both the Senate and the Assembly with wide bi-partisan support and no opposition.
“It’s disgusting that there are online communities that defend and encourage stealthing and give advice on how to get away with removing the condom without the consent of their partner, but there is nothing in law that makes it clear that this is a crime. This would be a first of its kind in the Nation, and I that urge Governor Newsom to sign AB 453 to make it clear that stealthing is not just immoral but illegal,” concluded Garcia.
The 58th Assembly District includes the cities of Montebello, Pico Rivera, Commerce, Bell Gardens, Downey, Norwalk, Bellflower, Cerritos and Artesia.