It is a “very serious offence” 

Following the publication of a study into stealthing, there has been much public discussion of the horrendous sexual assault trend.

Stealthing is when a man removes his condom midway through sex without consent from his partner - be they a man or a woman - thus putting them at risk of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.

It can also leave the victim feeling violated, confused and upset.

The author of the study, Alexandra Brodsky, claims stealthing is ‘rape-adjacent’ and calls for specific laws for condom removal to be introduced.

And now rape crisis organisations are speaking out to back her up.

“It would be defined as an assault under Irish law,” says Clíona Saidléar of Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI).

She says that stealthing is a “very serious offence” and “people should know that if they think it’s just a bit rude but that it’s innocuous, no – it’s actually a crime in Ireland.”

Saidléar explains that some people might think stealthing is OK because their partner has consented to sex, but that’s not true. 

“It can be tied up with the notion of consent, or when consent is assumed,” she told Her.

“It can also be a part of the abuse, where they go 'no, I'm not wearing that' - that overt refusal to wear a condom.”

Saidléar explained that she has had to deal with instances of stealthing in her work with RCNI and she would advise anyone worried about it to talk to someone for help.

“What underlines all of this is the denial of the woman’s right to choose what happens to her body,” she says, and of course the victims are not solely women either.

“If there’s a cultural casualness around this, we need to raise awareness.”

The Independent has contacted Rape Crisis UK for a comment but is yet to receive a response. 

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