Dating trends come and go and can be pretty concerning in their own right, but a new trend that has been taking the world by storm has caused serious concern. Not because it's some bogus term legitimizing unhealthy relationship habits but rather because there is some serious harm that comes with it.
The trend is called "stealthing," and while it sounds like it's going to be some blanket term for a polygamous relationship or maybe cheating on your spouse, it's actually even worse. The sex trend describes a man who decides mid-intercourse to take off his condom without his partner's consent or approval. The scariest part is in some situations, the partner has no idea it happened.
One of the major reasons this is such an issue is because it's an explicit breach of consent. Your partner agreed to have intercourse while under the terms that you would be wearing a condom. By taking off that condom, the consent is revoked and it turns into a form of sexual assault. Such an act also exposes your partner to the risk of not only pregnancy but dangerous STIs.
What makes the situation even worse is, because it is a lesser form of assault, a lot of victims don't know how to react or deal with the situation once it's happened. The same goes for the perpetrators - since it seems like such a minor offence to them, it has become more and more common.
Especially considering it's a little known or talked about situation where the serious issues and implications just aren't talked about enough. When victims freak out at their partners, they're simply told some version of "calm down, it's really not that big of a deal."
This lack of public awareness goes hand in hand with a lack of legitimacy people give to victims' experiences. As people often question if they "really were assaulted" if they had agreed to have sex in the first place. This frame of mind has predominantly plagued North America as in other areas of the world, it's a much different story.
Over in the U.K, what's deemed as a "risky move" here is actually considered a clear sexual offence and it's punishable as such. One 47-year-old man from Switzerland on the other hand actually got charged with rape for "stealthing" without the consent or knowledge of his partner back in January.
While it's clear that in some parts of the world the right steps are being taken to halt the "stealthing" trend, this movement isn't as present in the court over here in North America. Thankfully, professors such as Elaine Craig from Dalhousie and other victims have spoken up with demands that courts better treat sexual assault cases and the victims that those cases concern- "stealthing" instances included.
With the implementation of mandatory sexual assault training for judges recently, we can only hope that, in the future, the updating of laws surrounding these kinds of lesser-known assaults result in an awakening on the public's end to remember that consent is crucial.
Source: Huffington Post Canada