OTTAWA – A recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada says that the act of “stealthing” which is the act of removing protection like a condom during sexual intercourse, or lying about using protection at all, is now considered sexual assault.
Justice Sheilah Martin wrote that “a complainant who consents to sex on the condition that their partner wears a condom does not consent to sex without a condom.”
Online, many people are happy with the ruling.
“Good ruling by Supreme Court of Canada that the practice of “stealthing” – can be considered sexual assault. #GenderJusticeWin,” tweeted out Farrah Khan, a Toronto advocate for gender justice.
Supreme Court of Canada ruled today that intentional refusal or removal of a condom when consent was made under the condition of wearing one is considered sexual assault. So essentially.. they made stealthing a crime. Bravo to them. It happens so often,” said another person on Twitter.
“Canada confirming what anyone with a conscience already knew and making a potentially huge legal move in support of victims of sexual assault via condom removal/‘stealthing’,” wrote a third person.
Other people are also sharing how this could have helped them.
“Even though this can’t help me now, I am so glad that if a woman goes through what I did she’s protected more than I was,” wrote one Canadian.
This comes as Statistics Canada reports that the rate of police-reported sexual assaults in Canada is the highest it’s been since 1996. In 2021, there were over 34,200 reports of sexual assault across the country, which is an 18% increase from 2020.
Aside from a dip in 2020 due to the pandemic lockdowns, the rate of sexual assault in Canada has steadily increased over the past five years. Data from Canada’s statistics agency also shows that the number of sexual assaults reported to police is still likely to be significantly underestimated.
Statistics Canada pointed to data from 2019 that showed only 6% of sexual assaults experienced by Canadians 15 and older in the previous year had been reported to the police.