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New sex trend "Stealthing" prompts lawmakers to make it an offense

WPMI

"It should be considered rape"

Stealthing, it’s a dangerous new sex trend when a man takes off his condom during sex without the women's knowledge or consent.

Chief Battiste spoke on the issue, saying that so far in Mobile, no cases have been reported. "In Mobile we've had no reported incidents of that type of behavior, and if we were to have an incident of that behavior, we'd have to consult with the District Attorney's office," said Battiste.

Lawmakers across the country are now looking to crackdown on offenders.

"Sexual assault is sexual assault, rape is rape,” said Melissa Sargent who is spearheading the proposal to make stealthing a sex crime in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Representative Sargent calls stealthing a “predatory and disturbing behavior”.

"People are actually blogging about how to stealth and bragging about their ability to do this and encouraging other people to participate in that action and that by definition is predatory," said Sargent.

Within the past week, Sargent and California Assembly Woman, Christina Gomez, filed the first bills attempting to make stealthing a sex crime. State Senator Vivian Figures is considering similar legislation in Alabama.

"It's exciting to be at the forefront of this conversation and I look forward to being able to work with other legislators regardless of where it is that they are, and regardless of what party they affiliate with, to make positive changes to our country," said Sargent.

Experts say the effects of stealthing are very similar to that of rape victims.

Jan Pressler, with the Mobile Rape Crisis Center says women often feel depressed, violated, and sometimes have thoughts of suicide.

"When you are in a relationship and you have agreed to consensual sexual activity and then someone betrays that trust then they do fell violated and betrayed by that partner," said Pressler.

Although "stealthing" is not currently considered a crime, the rape crisis center says it encourages any woman who has fallen victim to it, to get help immediately. "That's a major concern for people is that it could be a significant health risk,” said Pressler.

The dangers are not being lost on local college campuses. Here’s what one young student had to say about the act, "Make sure you protect yourself at all costs. If you feel like the guy is kind of iffy, then just don't do it at all altogether. Safe sex is the best sex, and no sex is always even better."

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