What you need to know about 'stealthing', the disturbing sexual assault trend

It might not be a 'new' trend, but it's (unfortunately) become popular enough that it just got branded with a new name. 'Stealthing', as it's called, is when a man removes his condom during consensual sex, without telling the partner.

Not only can 'stealthing' lead to an increased risk of diseases and pregnancy, but it can be considered a form of sexual assault. In a recent report published by the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, researcher Alexandra Brodsky asserts 'stealthing' is a "grave violation of dignity and autonomy".

Brodsky has been concerned with this ongoing trend for quite some time. In a 2013 interview with Huffington Post, she discusses her concern with these growing "violations."

She noticed that many of her friends were sharing similar experiences and each were "struggling with forms of mistreatment by sexual partners that weren't considered part of the recognized repertoire of gender based violence ― but that seemed rooted in the same misogyny and lack of respect," she explained.

Brodksy, a Yale law student, found that the trend was discussed in a number of online communities. Not only would males discuss their rights to "spread his seed", but members would encourage other members to 'stealth' as well.

By giving a name to the practice, Brodsky hopes that victims understand they can pursue legal action against their perpetrators. "One of my goals with the article, and in proposing a new statute, is to provide a vocabulary and create ways for people to talk about what is a really common experience that just is too often dismissed as just 'bad sex' instead of 'violence,'" she explained.

Cases of 'stealthing' have expanded beyond the United States. There have been reports of "stealthing" in the UK, where it is illegal. Furthermore, just this year, a man in Switzerland was convicted of rape for 'stealthing.'

It's also worth nothing that, according to experts, 'stealthing' isn't just a "male problem."

"I've heard of women 'stealthing' too: compromising the effectiveness of condoms by piercing hard-to-notice holes through them with needles or otherwise secretly tampering with them, in an effort to trick a man into getting them pregnant," said expert Alix Fox to Huffington Post.

Brodsky is offering support to survivors. "Survivors experience real harms ― emotional, financial, and physical ― to which the law might provide remedy through compensation or simply an opportunity to be heard and validated," she said.

Related: Safest cities in America

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20 safest cities in America

#20: Temecula, California
Population: 104,955
Median household income: $78,535
Unemployment rate: 6.9%
Poverty rate: 8.1%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 92.4
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 2,340.5

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#19: Rochester, Minnesota
Population: 109,252
Median household income: $63,472
Unemployment rate: 3.5%
Poverty rate: 9.6%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 183.5
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 1,990

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#18: Bellevue, Washington
Population: 132,268
Median household income: $92,524
Unemployment rate: 4.7%
Poverty rate: 8.0%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 106.4
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 3400.5

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#17: Cape Coral, Florida
Population: 161,804
Median household income: $49,841
Unemployment rate: 7.8%
Poverty rate: 13.6%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 143.4
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 1,938.8

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#16: Burbank, California
Population: 104,484
Median household income: $66,111
Unemployment rate: 6.1%
Poverty rate: 10.1%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 142.9
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 2,309.6

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#15: Carlsbad, California 
Population: 109,296
Median household income: $87,416
Unemployment rate: 5.6%
Poverty rate: 10.4%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 181.7
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 1,541.5

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#14: Plano, Texas
Population: 271,166
Median household income: $82,944
Unemployment rate: 4.2%
Poverty rate: 7.4%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 165.2
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 1,974.7

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#13: Corona, California
Population: 157,395
Median household income: $77,021
Unemployment rate: 7.1%
Poverty rate: 11.3%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 106.1
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 2,135

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#12: Overland Park, Kansas
Population: 178,945
Median household income: $72,231
Unemployment rate: 3.7%
Poverty rate: 6.0%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 178.6
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 1,656.3

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#11: Santa Clara, California
Population: 119,525
Median household income: $93,840
Unemployment rate: 5.2%
Poverty rate: 9.0%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 133.8
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 2,698.3

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#10: Torrance, California
Population: 147,181
Median household income: $78,286
Unemployment rate: 5.3%
Poverty rate: 6.9%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 104.8
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 1,772.6

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#9: Fort Collins, Colorado
Population: 149,627
Median household income: $53,775
Unemployment rate: 5.3%
Poverty rate: 18.4%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 213.6
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 2,455.6

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#8: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Population: 169,260
Median household income: $48,898
Unemployment rate: 8.5%
Poverty rate: 15.2%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 141
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 1,448.5

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#7: Sunnyvale, California
Population: 145,921
Median household income: $103,257
Unemployment rate: 5.4%
Poverty rate: 7.9%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 111.8
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 1,577.2

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#6: Ann Arbor, Michigan 
Population: 115,985
Median household income: $56,835
Unemployment rate: 4.0%
Poverty rate: 22.8%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 164.8
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 1,868.1

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#5: Orange, California 
Population: 138,980
Median household income: $77,086
Unemployment rate: 6.2%
Poverty rate: 12.5%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 100.9
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 1,591.9

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#4: Round Rock, Texas
Population: 106,972
Median household income: $70,952
Unemployment rate: 5.3%
Poverty rate: 9.6%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 124.8
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 1,951

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#3: Glendale, California 
Population: 195,380
Median household income: $52,451
Unemployment rate: 6.7%
Poverty rate: 14.6%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 94.4
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 1,559.3

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#2: Thousand Oaks, California 
Population: 128,126
Median household income: $99,115
Unemployment rate: 6.4%
Poverty rate: 7.0%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 99.1
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 1,237.9

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#1: Naperville, Illinois 
Population: 144,108
Median household income: $109,512
Unemployment rate: 4.7%
Poverty rate: 4.4%
Annual violent crimes per 100,000: 77.6
Annual property crimes per 100,000: 1,123

Photo credit: Getty

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