Following on the recent approval in California of a bill describing the removal of the condom during a consensual sexual relation as sexual abuse or even a crime, Chilean lawmakers have made a similar presentation before Congress.
We women have kept silent for too long during rape, aggressions, discrimination and many other forms of violence which have become something natural or normal. Today, we have presented a bill to criminalize a very common practice, saying enough! The practice has been describes as stealthing and their intention is that defined as a crime it be punished with 61 to 540 days of incarceration.
This is a crime against women and their reproductive rights, indicated the sponsors of the initiative.
A week ago California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a bipartisan bill that outlaws non-consensual condom removal, stealthing. The new legislation adds the act to the state's civil definition of sexual battery, making California the first US state to render stealthing illegal.
We wanted to make sure that it's not only immoral, but illegal, said California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia who introduced the bill.
Garcia has been working on some version of this legislation for years. In 2017 and again in 2018, she introduced a bill that would have made stealthing a criminal offence, and allowed prosecutors to seek jail time for perpetrators. These bills either died on the floor or did not get a hearing.
This new version, which amends just the civil code, passed in the California legislature with no opposition. Survivors can sue offenders for damages but no criminal charges can be brought forward.
I still think this should be in the penal code, Garcia insisted If consent was broken, isn't that the definition of rape, or sexual assault?
Legislative analysts have said that stealthing could be considered misdemeanor sexual battery, even though it is not explicitly named in the criminal code. But Garcia's new law removes any ambiguity for civil claims which, experts say, will make it easier for survivors to pursue their cases.