Insidious act of “stealthing” now banned in SA under tough new laws introduced by SA-BEST

2 November 2022

South Australia has become one of only a handful around the world to criminalise “stealthing” – the non-consensual removal of a condom during sex – after news laws introduced by SA-BEST were passed in State Parliament today. 

SA-BEST MLC and Attorney General spokesperson, Connie Bonaros, said she was delighted the new laws would come into force after the State Government announced it would support the legislation. 

Under Connie’s Private Member’s Bill – titled the Criminal Law Consolidation (Stealthing) Amendment Bill - a maximum penalty of life imprisonment applies, depending on the crime committed as a result of stealthing. 

“Stealthing is a repugnant and disgusting act of betrayal, and as such - from a judicial perspective – needs to be treated by the police and our courts system in the same manner,” Connie said. 

“It should have been criminalised years ago, but hasn’t – that stops today with the passing of my new laws in State Parliament,” she said. 

“Under the new legislation, the removal of a condom during sex without the consent of the other person will now be a crime punishable by up to life imprisonment. 

“Stealthing is more common than most people believe, with a recent study revealing that one in three women and one in five men who had sex with men had been the victim of stealthing – that’s a shocking statistic! 

“Such grotesque acts of indecency deserve to be treated in the same manner as rape and a crime punishable by terms of imprisonment. 

“I applaud the State Government – in particular the Attorney General Kyam Maher - for its support of such important legislation which will ensure its successful passage through State Parliament.” 

The Australian Capital Territory became the first jurisdiction in the country to criminalise stealthing passing laws last year. 

Connie’s new laws amend current consent provisions under the Criminal Law Consolidation Act to explicitly state that a person's consent is negated if it is caused by the misrepresentation by the other person about the use of a condom. 

There are a number of factors that could give rise to the withdrawal of consent during sexual activity – one being the act of stealthing. 

The new legislation sets a new precedence to make it abundantly clear to anyone who might think it’s appropriate to remove a condom without the consent of the other person, that this will now be a crime punishable by up to life imprisonment. 

In announcing the government’s support of Connie’s Bill, Mr Maher said: “Stealthing is an abhorrent crime that deserves to be explicitly recognised and prohibited under our laws. 

“These changes will make it perfectly clear that it is an illegal activity that can be punished under the full weight of the law,” he said. 

“The Malinauskas Labor Government is proud to support Ms Bonaros’ Bill to outlaw this insidious behaviour.”

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