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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1085 ..


Paper

Madam Speaker presented the following paper:

Auditor-General Act 1996—Auditor-General’s Reports—2021—No 4/2021—ACT Government’s vehicle emissions reduction activities, dated 21 April 2021.

Crimes (Stealthing) Amendment Bill 2021

Ms Lee, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS LEE (Kurrajong-Leader of the Opposition) (3.02): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am proud to stand in this chamber today to present this bill to outlaw the heinous act of stealthing. Stealthing is an appalling thing to do to any woman, any man, any person. It completely erodes the trust that a person can put in someone during the most vulnerable of moments. It is a violation of dignity and autonomy.

Some people listening might be wondering what stealthing is. It may be a term that they have never heard before. Stealthing is the non-consensual removal of a condom during sexual intercourse. A recent joint study by the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre and Monash University highlighted the prevalence of stealthing in our community. The report found that, of the thousands of respondents, a staggering one in three women and nearly one in five men who have sex with other men reported being victims of stealthing.

The study found that, just like reporting rates of other sexual offences, reporting of experiences with stealthing is very low. As few as one per cent of those who had been victims of stealthing indicated that they had reported it to police. Stealthing risks both physical and psychological health, including the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and infections, unplanned pregnancies, depression, anxiety and, in some cases, post-traumatic stress disorder.

Stealthing can be a very traumatic thing to experience. It can take away a person’s self-determination, their agency, and leave them feeling completely and utterly vulnerable. In a confronting account on Triple J’s Hack, a victim of stealthing spoke out. They said that they felt violated and feared that they had contracted something life altering from someone who had completely broken their trust. They spoke about the self-loathing and their long struggle with mental health following the incident. They spoke about reaching out to a female co-worker who said that she had had a similar experience, but in this case it had resulted in four days of hospitalisation

The response to the Hack story was explosive. It became clear that, whilst many people did not know the name of it, many had sadly been the victims of it. Behind


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