In Canada, the loss and removal of condoms without consent has become a sex crime

Glowimages / Getty Images / Glowimages RF

Glowimages / Getty Images / Glowimages RF

Removing or losing a condom without another’s consent is now a sex crime in Canada.

CONSENT – Removing a condom during the act or simply missing it without the consent of another – “stealthing”, furtive in English – is now considered a sex crime in Canada. The Supreme Court ruled on Friday July 29, by 5 votes to 4. “This is an important development for women and other people who have sex with men”said Isabel Grant, a law professor at the University of British Columbia who specializes in violence and sexual assault.

For Washington posthe added: “This decision has international significance. (…) There is now a clear statement in Canadian law that robbery constitutes sexual assault. » Especially since the problem is growing. According to some studies, many women and men who have sex with men report experiencing it. Resistance to condom use has been rampant even in the past decade.

Plagiarism is widespread enough for some Canadian universities to include it in their prevention policies. Today, the practice is listed as a sex crime by the country’s highest legal body.

Legislation based on a sexual assault trial

In 2017, a man was charged with sexual assault for removing a condom during sex without his partner’s consent. According to the testimony of the latter, he still insisted on wearing one and the man agreed. The victim is obliged to take preventive treatment against HIV.

But the trial court dismissed the charge. He accepted the defendant’s argument that the plaintiff consented to intercourse, despite the fact that he was not wearing a condom. But the British Columbia Court of Appeal ordered a new trial. The accused then asked the Supreme Court to decide. He took it very seriously because he heard the plaintiff’s arguments.

Sheilah L. Martin, one of the five Supreme Court justices who voted for the law describing ‘stealthing’ as a sex crime, said she “there is no agreement on the physical act of intercourse without a condom” if its use is a condition of intercourse. This becomes an important part of the sexual activity in question. “Because yes only means yes and no means no, it is impossible that ‘no, no no condom’ means ‘yes, no condom’. »

One of the first countries in the world

The court officially ruled “Sex without a condom is a basic and different physical act from sex with a condom. (…) The use of condoms cannot be secondary or accessory if the plaintiff has formally expressed his consent. »

Canada is not the only country to ban this practice. Starting in 2021, California law allows victims of “theft” to sue their attackers and get compensation, according to New York Times. Courts in Switzerland and the UK have also convicted people for removing these protections without the other’s consent.

In May, a German woman was convicted of sexual assault for hitting her partner with a condom. The court likened his actions to “theft.” In France, a legal ambiguity reigns over this practice and some associations and activists demand that it be considered rape.

Canada has passed stricter laws against sexual violence since 1983, when it expanded the definition of rape and sexual assault to include acts other than non-consensual penetration.

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