Aug 27, 2019

In 2017, mainstream media became aware of a phenomenon that was growing popular on the fringes of the Internet. Called stealthing, it involved men taking off condoms during sexual intercourse without their partner’s consent. Many sites, though acknowledging how disturbing it is, referred to it as a sex trend. It’s not.

Nonconsensual condom removal is sexual assault. Alexandra Brodsky, who wrote the study on the practice that brought it into attention, elaborates: “[Survivors explain that] it feels like a violation of trust and a denial of autonomy, not dissimilar to rape.” One survivor called it “rape-adjacent.”

Let’s make this very clear: A lack of consent equals sexual violence, and consenting to sex with condoms on is not equal to consent to sex without them. In addition to that, calling it stealthing trivializes the act: It couches the violence with family-friendly language.

That doesn’t even touch how the act can potentially expose women and men (many queer men have also been victims) to diseases and can be used to entrap women via pregnancy.

If you need any more convincing, you can check out this harrowing thread filled with the experiences of women and men:

In order to address this, House Bill No. 3957 has just been filed. The bill by Ako Bicol Reps. Alfredo Garbin Jr. and Elizaldy Co amends the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 to include nonconsensual condom removal as sexual assault. The bill also “refines” the meaning of sexual assault to make it inclusive, “using the term “sexual partner” (…) to enable any person of any sexual orientation, gender identification or expression to file charges of sexual assault against sexual violators.” It also uses the term “protective device” to cover other devices aside from condoms.

As to the penalties of the bill, according to

“Individuals found guilty will be given at least 12 years of jail time, and a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than P500,000.

If the victim was infected with a sexually transmitted disease or was impregnated, the penalty to be imposed on the violator would be jail time of at least 17 years and four months to 20 years, and a fine of not less than P200,000 but not more than P700,000.”

If this passes, it would be a huge win. With politicians still callously trading rape jokes and sexist remarks (as well as a certain senator outright denying the SOGIE law for inane purposes), just knowing that an inclusive bill made to expand the definition of sexual assault is out there is a much-needed piece of good news.


Featured photo courtesy of Charles 🇵🇭 on Unsplash

Get more stories like this by subscribing to our weekly newsletter here.

Read more:

Eileen Sarmenta’s rapist and murderer shouldn’t have been considered for a release in the first place

A Filipino woman is raped every 72 minutes

What women and children wore when they were raped or sexually assaulted

TAGS: nonconsensual condom removal Rape sexual assault stealthing