In July, we published an article on the DLG Blog examining the topic of stealthing (also known as nonconsensual condom removal). Stealthing is an issue that impacts countless victims every year, with a recent Guardian report indicating some alarming statistics:
Additionally, a new Guardian report from last week cited a 2019 National Institute of Health (NIH) paper which found that 12% of women ages 21 to 30 reported that they had a partner engage in stealthing. Furthermore, a 2017 Yale University study found that the act of stealthing was on the rise against both women and gay men.
With the increased reports of stealthing and the negative and often traumatic results which can impact victims, lawmakers have been taking steps to outlaw the act for years. One such lawmaker here in California, Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, has been working tirelessly on the issue of stealthing since 2017.
“I have been working on the issue of ‘stealthing‘ since 2017. And I won’t stop until there is some accountability for those who perpetrate the act. Sexual assaults, especially those on women of color, are perpetually swept under the rug. So much stigma is attached to this issue,” Garcia said in a public statement.
As a result of efforts from lawmakers such as Garcia, new legislation – California AB-453 – has passed unanimously and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, effectively making the Golden State the first in the nation to officially outlaw the act of stealthing.
As Mother Jones magazine reported last week:
California is on the cusp of becoming the first state to outlaw “stealthing,” the depressingly common practice of removing a condom during sex without verbal consent.
Below we will review some important information related to stealthing, including how to file a civil lawsuit against the person who victimized you in pursuit of maximum financial compensation with the help of Dordulian Law Group’s (DLG) experienced team of sex crime attorneys.
The act of stealthing is defined as:
“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.“
However, a troubling aspect related to stealthing includes survivors, at different times, discovering that they have been victimized by an offender. In fact, some stealthing victims are completely unaware that the act has occurred until being informed by their partners at a later date.
The following stealthing scenarios are commonly reported:
Furthermore, many stealthing victims are unsure of what legal recourse may be available after non-consensual condom removal. As one stealthing survivor told the BBC in a recent interview, “I didn’t realize it’s rape until it happened to me.”
While no laws anywhere in the nation previously existed to make the act of stealthing or nonconsensual condom removal illegal, California AB-453 was passed unanimously by lawmakers last week, and is awaiting Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature. Once signed – and all indications are that Governor Newsom will sign AB-453 into law – stealthing would then be added to California’s civil definition of sexual battery.
AB-453’s passage will not change the criminal code or enforce prison sentences on stealthing offenders. However, AB-453 will allow stealthing victims the ability to sue perpetrators for financial damages in civil court.
The measure was approved unanimously by lawmakers and once signed by Governor Newson, stealthing victims in California will finally be able to pursue justice through civil lawsuits.
AB-453’s sponsor, Cristina Garcia, issued a comment after the bill was sent to Governor Newsom for signature:
“It’s disgusting that there are online communities that defend and encourage stealthing and give advice on how to get away with removing the condom without the consent of their partner, but there is nothing in law that makes it clear that this is a crime. This would be a first of its kind in the Nation, and I that urge Governor Newsom to sign AB 453 to make it clear that stealthing is not just immoral but illegal,” said Garcia.
Nonconsensual condom removal is a prevalent issue affecting men and women alike. Many stealthing victims describe having sex with male partners who removed the condom without their knowledge during intercourse – with some victims realizing their partner had removed the condom at the moment of re-penetration, and many others not realizing until the point of ejaculation (or at all).
Stealthing can expose victims to various damages (all of which can be included in a civil lawsuit with DLG), including:
Furthermore and perhaps most importantly, stealthing breaches a partner’s consent as well as violates and victimizes the individual.
Many stealthing victims report having to search frantically for the Plan B contraceptive or to make an appointment with a physician for an STI exam.
At Dordulian Law Group (DLG), we believe that stealthing is “rape-adjacent” and therefore akin to the crime of rape. Accordingly, it should be treated as sexual battery under the law. California AB-453 will finally allow stealthing survivors to obtain the justice they deserve, but you must file a claim properly and according to the statute of limitations.
Reach out to DLG today for a free consultation at 818-322-4056 to begin the process of filing a claim and pursuing maximum financial compensation.
Sex always requires consent, and any sexual act – including stealthing or nonconsensual condom removal – is a breach of your consent. If you have been the victim of stealthing, contact our experienced Sex Crimes Division today for a free, discreet, and no obligation consultation. We’ll answer any questions you have and review all your available options under the law.
DLG was founded and is led by a former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County who successfully obtained life sentences against some of our community’s most dangerous sexual predators. Sam Dordulian has devoted his career to securing justice for sexual assault survivors, and with the impending passage of AB-453, he and his dedicated team are standing ready to help stealthing victims obtain maximum financial compensation for their claims.
With over 100 jury trial victories, Dordulian offers sexual assault survivors a level of experience that simply can’t be matched at most other firms. Moreover, DLG offers survivors a unique and all-encompassing form of legal representation that includes added advantages and a support network of professionals.
As a Deputy D.A. for Los Angeles County and sex crimes prosecutor, Dordulian saw first-hand how survivors of sexual assault commonly require additional resources and support beyond legal expertise when navigating the justice system. That’s why Dordulian established a four-tiered SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts) within DLG’s Sex Crimes Division to offer survivors an all-encompassing 24/7 support network.
With DLG, survivors have an experienced and dedicated litigator in Sam Dordulian, but they also have access to added resources, including:
Stealthing survivors are supported and represented by all four tiers of the DLG SAJE Team. Our dedication to each and every stealthing survivor is highlighted by both our experience and proven results:
Contact a member of our SAJE Team today online or by phone at 818-322-4056 to discuss your stealthing claim. At DLG, we believe and support survivors, and we’ll treat your claim with the utmost respect, professionalism, and care it deserves. We’ll to listen to your claim, launch a thorough investigation led by our in-house Chief Investigator and retired LAPD sex crimes detective with over 30 years of experience, and develop an aggressive but precise legal strategy based on our years of experience and past success.
If you’ve been victimized by a stealthing perpetrator – even if on a single occasion – that constitutes a breach of consent under the law. Contact the sexual assault experts at DLG for a free consultation today. Don’t settle for anything less than the DLG Advantage, afforded by a former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy D.A. who is ready to fight for you.
When you’re ready to take the step towards securing justice for your stealthing claim, we’re here to serve as your dedicated legal advocate, fighting to recover the maximum financial compensation you deserve.
For a stealthing crime, the best call you can make is to the experienced, trusted, and dedicated attorneys at DLG.
“They were very professional and fought hard for me. Two seperate cases and two seperate wins. Would highly recommend Dordulian Law Group and would hire them again if needed in the future.”
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.