Stealthing Could Soon Lead To Life Imprisonment In South Australia
"Such grotesque acts of indecency deserve to be ... a crime punishable by terms of imprisonment."
South Australia is on track to become the next jurisdiction to criminalise stealthing, with life imprisonment being one of the penalties floated.
Stealthing is the act of removing a condom during sex without consent and was outlawed in the ACT, Tasmania, NSW, and Victoria last year.
A bill to criminalise stealthing in SA passed through their Upper House on Wednesday and is predicted to proceed in the Lower House with overwhelming support as well. Once it is legally considered a form of sexual assault, perpetrators found guilty of stealthing could face between 10 years to life imprisonment.
“We have been consulting on this bill for a good part of the year, and have spoken with a broad range of stakeholders, from public health experts to victims,” said SA-Best MLC and Attorney General spokesperson Connie Bonaros who first introduced the Criminal Law Consolidation (Stealthing) Amendment Bill.
“Stealthing is a repugnant, appalling thing to do to any person,” she said. “It should have been criminalised years ago.”
Research released in October found 80 percent of Australians agreed that stealthing should be a crime, however, 65 percent admitted that they were not familiar with what the term actually meant.
Meanwhile, a study in 2018 found that one in three women, and one in five men who have sex with men, had experienced stealthing during sex.
While Northern Territory and Western Australian governments have not yet moved to criminalised stealthing as of yet, Queensland considered introducing similar laws in July but hasn’t made further strides.
“Such grotesque acts of indecency deserve to be treated in the same manner as rape and a crime punishable by terms of imprisonment,” said Bonaros. “From a judicial perspective it needs to be treated by the police and our court system in the same manner.”