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House Bill considers removal of condom during sexual intercourse as sexual assault

FILE PHOTO: REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

Removal of condom during sexual intercourse after a consensual agreement can be considered as sexual assault or rape once the proposed bill is approved in Congress.

House Bill No. 3957, which was filed before the House of Representatives by Ako Bicol party-list Representative Alfredo Garbin and Elizaldy Co, aims to penalize “stealthing” or condom removal; tampering with or damaging the condom or other protective devices without the consent of the sexual partner, and making the partner believe a condom will be used to gain sexual consent.

Also noted in the bill that “stealthing” would occur when a person causes his or her, partner, to believe that he or she had used or is currently using a protective device, causing his or her partner to consent to having sexual activity, when in fact, such a person was not using or did not use any contraceptive device.

HB No. 3957 also noted some other incidents of stealthing during sexual activity which includes removing any protective device without the consent of the partner, tampering or damaging any protective device, or intentionally infecting or impregnating the sexual partner through the said acts.

“We also defined in HB 3957 what sexual activity is so that the definition of sexual assault would be strengthened with a definition which uses the gender-inclusive word ‘sexual partner’. In RA 8393, the word ‘other person’ is used to refer to the victim of the male offender,” Garbin said in a statement.

He said through using the term “sexual partner” in the bill it would enable any person of any sexual orientation, gender identification or expression to file charges of sexual assault against sexual violators.

“Even if the victim is not a woman, the victim can avail of protection and remedies provided by the law on rape and sexual assault,” Garbin emphasized.

Individuals who will be found guilty of committing the acts of “stealthing” during sexual activity would be slapped with jail time of 12 years and one day to 14 years and eight months, and a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than Php 500,000.

However, if the victim was infected with a sexually transmitted disease or was impregnated, the penalty to be imposed on the violator would be jail time of 17 years and 4 months to 20 years, and a fine of not less than Php 200,000 but not more than Php 700,000.

If the violator intentionally infects or impregnates their partners through the acts of “stealthing,” the penalty would be jail time of 20 years and 1 day to 40 years, and a fine of not less than Php 1 million but not more than P5 million.

Yet, if the victim withdraws consent after knowing that an act of “stealthing” was being committed, yet the violator continued with the sexual act, the latter would be liable for rape.

Garbin hoped once House Bill 3957 became law that it would “lead to fewer cases of sexual assault involving sexually-transmitted diseases and help in the war against HIV-AIDS.”

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