California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed into law a bipartisan bill that outlaws non-consensual condom removal, known as “stealthing”.
The new legislation adds the act to the state’s civil definition of sexual battery, making California the first US state to render stealthing illegal.
The law gives victims a clear legal remedy for the assault and advocates say it marks a sea change for other survivors who might now have their day in court.
This new version, which amends just the civil code, passed in the California legislation with no opposition. Survivors can sue offenders for damages but no criminal charges can be brought forward.
Legislative analysts have said that stealthing could be considered misdemeanour sexual battery, even though it is not explicitly named in the criminal code.