Sep 20, 2021
Last night’s Emmys program featured the usual glitz and glamor that one would expect from a Hollywood awards show. If you weren’t paying close attention, you may not have noticed that one of the shortest acceptance speeches of the night called attention to two issues we’ve covered in detail recently on the DLG Blog – sexual assault and stealthing.
After winning the limited-series writing Emmy Award for HBO’s “I May Destroy You,” Michaela Coel, who also created and starred in the show, began by paying tribute to her fellow writers.
“I just wrote a little something for writers really… Write the title that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that isn’t comfortable. I dare you in a world that entices us to browse through the lives of others to help us better determine how we feel about ourselves, and to in turn fill the need to be constantly visible,” she said.
“For visibility these days seems to equate to success. Do not be afraid to disappear from it, from us for a while, and see what comes to you in the silence,” Coel added.
“I May Destroy You” explores the subject of sexual consent, specifically the trauma that can be experienced afterward by survivors of sexual assault. In the closing remarks of her acceptance speech, Coel paid tribute to survivors.
“I dedicate this story to every single survivor of sexual assaults,” she said.
“I May Destroy You” follows a character arc that is loosely based on Coel’s actual life. She was raped in 2016, and the show depicts that incident while highlighting the issue of stealthing or nonconsensual condom removal.
“I really don’t know if the show is trying to answer a question about rape or get people to ask a question about rape,” Coel told PEOPLE Magazine last year. “I’m definitely showing it, and I guess I’m asking us to think about it.”
In what is perhaps the first-ever scene to tackle the underrepresented issue of stealthing or nonconsensual condom removal, Coel’s character – Arabella – is on night out “after her drink is spiked,” according to Cosmopolitan.
The magazine describes the stealthing scene from “I May Destroy You” as follows:
“We see Arabella hook up with someone after she’s been spiked and sexually assaulted. In the scene, she asks the man to use a condom, which he does… at first. After having sex in missionary position for all of thirty seconds, he asks her to turn around. And when she does, he whips the condom off, throws it on the floor and continues to have sex with her. She has no idea he’s removed the condom.”
“There’s no definitive,” Cole added in the interview with PEOPLE. “I’m wanting the audience to think and actually think beyond the act of rape. As you go forward in this series, you’ll realize there is a lot more going on. I’m just constantly asking the audience to have introspection to think and try being curious beyond our own understanding.”
Since “I May Destroy You” premiered on HBO last year, the issue of stealthing has drawn worldwide attention. In fact, new legislation just passed in California – AB 453 – is the first of its kind in the nation to outlaw stealthing or nonconsensual condom removal and recognize the act as sexual battery.
Under AB 453, which passed unanimously and is awaiting Governor Newsom’s signature, survivors of stealthing will now be able to file civil lawsuits in pursuit of financial compensation against their perpetrators.
Stealthing is the act of secretive nonconsensual condom removal. When two partners are engaged in sexual intercourse that has only been consented to as condom-protected, removal of the condom at any point without consent constitutes stealthing.
Although commonly misunderstood and substantially underreported, stealthing is an issue which impacts countless survivors every year. A recent Guardian report confirmed the following troubling statistics:
AB 453 represents landmark legislation that will provide stealthing survivors with the legal recourse they need to ensure justice is obtained for this specific type of sexual assault. As other papers have noted, stealthing is “akin to rape,” and therefore should be addressed as such a crime under the law. AB 453 amends the civil code to state that an individual commits sexual battery if the person:
“Causes contact between a penis, from which a condom has been removed, and the intimate part of another who did not verbally consent to the condom being removed.”
Dordulian Law Group (DLG) was founded by former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles, Sam Dordulian. Dordulian has dedicated his life to obtaining justice for sexual assault survivors, and he and his experienced team fully support the passage of AB 453.
If you’ve been victimized by stealthing, contact a member of our SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts) today. DLG provides survivors with unique and all-encompassing representation that goes beyond the very best legal expertise available. As a sex crimes prosecutor, Sam Dordulian witnessed first-hand how sexual assault survivors often benefit from additional resources and support throughout the legal process.
Accordingly, when he founded DLG’s Sex Crimes Division to be the leading sexual assault firm in the nation, he also implemented a four-tiered team of professionals that could provide unique benefits to survivors.
DLG’s SAJE Team is available 24/7 to survivors as a four-tiered support network:
In addition to our unique and all-encompassing SAJE Team, DLG provides survivors with the utmost respect, discretion, professionalism, and dedication. We know how difficult it can be to come forward and report a sexual assault, and we’re here to listen, to believe, and to support survivors in their pursuit of justice through civil lawsuits.
Our unparalleled experience and proven results are why sexual assault survivors throughout the nation consistently choose DLG to handle their claims, obtain justice, and recover maximum financial compensation on their behalf:
Contact us today for a free and no obligation consultation to discuss your stealthing case at 818-322-4056. DLG has successfully helped countless sexual assault survivors recover maximum financial damages awards and obtain the justice they deserve on their own terms.
We accept all cases on a contingency fee agreement, which means you never have to worry about upfront costs or out-of-pocket expenses when securing the very best legal representation available. Our No Win/No Fee Guarantee means you don’t pay a penny until we recover maximum financial compensation for your stealthing claim.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you secure the justice you deserve for your stealthing civil lawsuit through AB 453.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.