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'Stealthing' could be considered assault say experts about secret removal of condom during sex

Tuesday - 02/05/2017 13:52
Paper in Columbia Journal of Gender and Law examines little-known practice some say is 'rape-adjacent'

Haley says she knows the trauma of sexual assault. The 20-year-old Edmonton woman says she has experienced multiple forms of it.

But when she discloses the details of the latest instance, she says some people shrug it off.

That's because Haley is referring to "stealthing," the secretive and non-consensual removal of a condom during otherwise consensual intercourse. (CBC has agreed to not publish Haley's full name as well as those of the other women who spoke about the practice.)

Not everyone considers stealthing akin to rape, she says.

Haley said she had consented to protected sex with a man she knew and trusted. But after a few minutes, she noticed something amiss.

"I looked down at one point, and [the condom] just wasn't there," she said. "It was really scary."

After confronting the man and speaking with friends who had the same experience with him, she says she realized he'd removed the condom intentionally.

"With other people, he would find sneaky ways to take it off," Haley said. "[He would] stop having intercourse and chat for a second, then … start again and it wouldn't be on."

The Columbia Journal of Gender and Law published a paper on the practice last week by Alexandra Brodsky, a fellow at the National Women's Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Brodsky points to online communities where users describe experiences of stealthing. One community, hosted on the website The Experience Project, published a "how to" guide in which users shared tips for removing or breaking a condom without their partner's knowledge.

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 Key: stealthing

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