The Tasmanian Government has recently changed the Criminal Code to make it clear that a practice called “stealthing” is rape.
This has been done to send a strong message to the community that this activity will not be tolerated and will be punished.
Stealthing is when a person deliberately does one of three things against the wishes of a person they have sex with:
It doesn’t matter if these things are done before sex, or during it. But the person who wants a condom
to be used must first have let the other person know this, by saying or doing something.
The change to Tasmania’s law makes it clear that “stealthing” is rape.
Stealthing is rape because a person has agreed to have sex because a condom will be used. If no condom is used, or if the condom is deliberately removed or damaged without the person knowing and agreeing, then there is no consent to that type of sex and the act is rape.
Rape is a very serious crime and attracts long jail sentences. The maximum sentence is 21 years in jail.
Stealthing can result in unplanned pregnancy and the transmission of disease. It can also cause ongoing mental harm.
If you have experienced a sexual partner damaging or removing a condom against your wishes you should consider contacting Tasmania Police as soon as possible to make a complaint.
You can attend the Emergency Department at a hospital for a forensic examination which will enable evidence to be collected and recorded and then used in a potential prosecution.
It may be important to retain any evidence that you have (e.g. the damaged condom or take a note of what you or someone else said or did).
We recommend contacting the 24-hour Sexual Assault Support Service that can assist you with support and advice on 1800 697 877.
If you commit stealthing, you are having sex without the other person’s consent which is the serious crime of rape.
If you are found guilty of rape by removing or damaging a condom on purpose: