California Condom Stealthing Law (2023)

California law makes it illegal to remove a condom without consent

California is the first U.S. state to ban “condom stealthing,” the act of removing a condom without permission during sexual intercourse. On October 7, 2021, California signed AB-453 into law, making it a civil offense for someone to remove a condom without their partner’s consent.

If you were a victim of stealthing in California, we can help discuss your legal options.  

Someone remove a condom without consent?

Contact our legal team to learn your rights.  


Under California law, stealthing is not considered a criminal offense, but it is considered a civil offense. This means that victims of condom stealthing may be able to sue their perpetrators for potential compensation and damages to hopefully deter future harm. 

If you were a victim of stealthing in California and would like to explore the possibility of a sexual assault civil lawsuit, contact our experienced sexual assault and harassment legal team for a free and confidential consultation.  

If you were a victim of stealthing in a state other than California, you should contact an experienced lawyer to discuss your legal rights and options. Regardless of what your state’s laws allow, stealthing is dangerous and emotionally damaging, and we believe in your ability to seek justice and heal. 

In California, consent is legally defined as requiring “positive cooperation” in either behavior or expression, and it requires a person to “act freely and voluntarily and have knowledge of the nature of the act or transaction involved. In other words, if an individual is afraid or feels pressured into agreeing to something, it’s not true consent. Individuals who are married or in relationships still need to give active consent. 

Example #1Audrey is married to Matthew. Matthew tried to convince Audrey to engage in a sexual activity they had previously engaged in. Audrey told Matthew she didn’t feel comfortable doing that activity. Matthew argued that they’d done it before, so there shouldn’t be an issue, and started kissing Audrey. Audrey allowed the sex to happen because she didn’t want to start an argument. That’s not consent.
Example #2Lucia recently started dating Oliver. Oliver removed his condom without Lucia’s permission. When Lucia found out, she felt betrayed and confronted Oliver about it. Oliver claimed that he had every right to do so because the condom was on his body. Wrong. That’s not consent.

Stealthing is common – you're not alone

Unfortunately, stealthing is a relatively widespread issue that often goes unreported. A 2019 study published by Yale university found that 12% of women between the ages of 21 to 30 reported being a victim of stealthing. A different 2019 study published by Monash University discovered even more alarming trends: 32% of female survey respondents and 19% of male respondents stated that they’ve experienced stealing.  

If you’ve experienced stealthing or other forms of sexual harm, know that you’re not alone, and there are people ready to listen and help. 

National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 

1 800 656 HOPE (4673) 

This free, confidential hotline connects you to a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area. 

We continue to investigate potential claims for sexual assault and harassment. If you are seeking legal help, or just want to get more information, please click below to speak to one of our attorneys or legal advocates confidentially. 

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