The ACT has made the 'heinous' act of stealthing illegal

Canberra Liberal Elizabeth Lee said the legislation's passage was a "proud moment" for the nation's capital.

The ACT has outlawed the non-consensual removal of a condom during sex

The ACT has outlawed the non-consensual removal of a condom during sex Source: EyeEm via Getty

The Australian Capital Territory has become the first jurisdiction in the country to outlaw 'stealthing', or the non-consensual removal of a condom during sex.

Legislation to make the practice illegal and expressly identify stealthing as sexual assault passed the ACT Legislative Assembly on Thursday.

The bill, brought forward by Canberra Liberals’ Elizabeth Lee, will not just make illegal the removal of a condom during sex, but also not using a condom at all after consent has been given.

Ms Lee said the bill's passage was a "proud moment" for the nation's capital.

She said she felt compelled to introduce the legislation because there was no case law precedent to ensure it would be outlawed.

“Instead of waiting until the victim comes forward, and the case is taken through the courts to determine, without doubt, that stealthing is a crime, I was drawn as a legislator to make sure that our laws put this beyond doubt,” she told the Legislative Assembly on Thursday.

Ms Lee said after she introduced her bill in April, people from all across the world had come forward with their own stories of being victims of the “appalling” practice.

“I know that many people have experienced stealthing but were unsure or aghast that our laws did not reflect community sentiment that this is a heinous act, that is a crime,” she said.

“Stealthing is an appalling thing to do to anyone, and we know that it has long-lasting impacts on the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of victims.

“It violates bodily autonomy in the most intimate of moments and victims have spoken about the impact that it has on their ability to trust people.”

Women's safety advocate Brittany Higgins posted on Twitter the passage of the bill was an “important step in demonstrating Australia will no longer tolerate sexual assault in any form”.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.


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Published 7 October 2021 at 8:49pm, updated 7 October 2021 at 9:24pm
By Rashida Yosufzai
Source: SBS News

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