Yes, "Stealthing" Is Sexual Assault — & Survivors Can Take Legal Action

Photographed by Rockie Nolan
Earlier this year, the Columbia Journal for Gender and Law published an article about non-consensual condom removal, a.k.a. “stealthing.” Author Alexandra Brodsky heard from survivors of stealthing and also spent some time on the online message boards where men discuss and advocate for the act.
Brodsky’s research went viral, and stealthing became a household term, in the process also giving a name to a previously nebulous, confusing act. Writing for Broadly, Brodsky described how survivors “didn't know what to call it, and because they didn't know others had the same experience, they didn't know if they had the right to be angry.” As she explains, “just naming violence can have such power.”
And while, sure, we’re finally talking about stealthing, it’s definitely not new. “Advocates have heard about this particular form of sexual violence for quite some time,” says Josie Torielli, assistant director of intervention programs at the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault. It’s important for survivors to know that stealthing is not “no big deal,” and it’s 100% okay to seek out help if it happens to you. In fact, along with counseling, you can take legal action if you want. Here are some things you should know if you decide to go that route.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).