SA parliament to consider stealthing bill

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Legislation to criminalise stealthing, the non-consensual removal of a condom during sex, has been introduced in the South Australian parliament.

The bill from SA-BEST upper house MP Connie Bonaros would declare the practice a sexual assault with a maximum penalty of life in prison, depending on the circumstances of the act.

"Stealthing is a repugnant and disgusting act of betrayal, and as such should be treated by the police and our courts system in the same manner," Ms Bonaros said.

"It should have been criminalised years ago, but hasn't."

Ms Bonaros said stealthing was more common than most people believed, with a 2018 Monash University study of 2000 people revealing that one in three women and one in five men who had sex with men had been stealthed.

She said it could cause unimaginable levels of damage to a person's physical and psychological wellbeing.

"This includes the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted infection disease, unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, severe mental health or depression, and in some reported cases, post-traumatic stress disorder.

"And that doesn't take into consideration the absolute sense of shock and betrayal of someone who's agreed to have consensual sex with another person only to have that trust utterly betrayed.

"The ramifications can be life-changing in so many ways."

If the SA laws are passed, the state will join the Australian Capital Territory as the only Australian jurisdictions to criminalise stealthing.

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