Sex - Consent = Rape! There's No Inbetween!

By Ashlee Minto

Recently, the so-called sexual practice of Stealthing was brought to the public eye. Some have called it a trend but it is nothing other than rape. Stealthing has been making the rounds in the media after the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law published a study on the act.

Source: via Instagram - @paulfuentes_design

Source: via Instagram - @paulfuentes_design

What is “Stealthing”? 

Stealthing is the nonconsensual removal of a condom during sex. While Australia is still in the unprecedented grey zone, a young man in Sydney has come forth to police with his case of sexual assault. This has sent the media into overload on the matter and many people are outraged at the injustice. If the charge progresses it will become Australia’s first court case.

Melissa Sargent, a Democratic Representative of Wisconsin (USA) was the first to present a bill to address Stealthing. This saw the bill change its definition of consent to “engage in sexual intercourse….on the conditional use of sexually protective devices.”

What is being done about it?

Assemblywoman, Cristina Garcia told Hack that, "What should matter is 'did you break consent?' And if you did let's call it what it is. It is rape." This was after two new bills were presented in the US to change the legislative definition of rape to include stealthing.

The president of NSW Law Society, Pauline Wright says that despite it’s difficult grounds, some one could potentially be found guilty and charged under Section 61HA of the Crimes Act. Wright told Nine, “If that agreement is, 'Yes, I will have sex with you provided you have a condom on', then it is removed during sex without knowledge or consent, it undoes the agreement and undoes the consent.”

The Australian Law Reform states “25.10 The penetrative sexual offence is described as: ‘rape’ in Victoria,[13] Queensland,[14] South Australia[15] and Tasmania;[16] ‘sexual assault’ in NSW;[17] ‘sexual intercourse without consent’ in the ACT and the Northern Territory;[18] and ‘sexual penetration without consent’ in Western Australia.[19] The offence includes the continuation of sexual intercourse after penetration in order to address cases where consent has subsequently been withdrawn.[20]

“I hope through this discussion with Wisconsin, California, and now Australia, that this becomes a global discussion. This is an issue happening across the world,” Garcia told hack.

What are the consequences?

Stealthing can result in STIs, STDs, pregnancy, and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For women, nothing can protect them from disease and infection other than barrier methods.

This is not to be seen as a "sexual trend" or to be ignored. It is a violation of consent and therefore removes consent. It is a violation of another person's body and should not be seen any differently to rape.  

What can you do?

Consent is dependant on what is communicated so invest time into communicating with your partner, no matter how casual or serious. Express what you like and what you don’t, but most of all, always be safe. Remember, you have the right to say no, the right to change your mind, and the right to speak up. 

If you have found this article to be triggering or you’re seeking support please call 1800 RESPECT or Q LIFE 1800 184 527. The sooner you report assault, the better.  

Ashlee Minto