Monday 11th Oct. 2021: California Governor Gavin Newsom, Last Thursday, 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.
"We wanted to make sure that it's not only immoral, but illegal," said California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia who introduced the bill.
Garcia has been working on some version of this legislation for years. In 2017 and again in 2018, she introduced a bill that would have made stealthing a criminal offence, and allowed prosecutors to seek jail time for perpetrators. These bills either died on the floor or did not get a hearing.
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.
"I still think this should be in the penal code," Garcia told the BBC. "If consent was broken, isn't that the definition of rape, or sexual assault?"
Legislative analysts have said that stealthing could be considered misdemeanour sexual battery, even though it is not explicitly named in the criminal code. But Garcia's new law removes any ambiguity for civil claims which, experts say, will make it easier for survivors to pursue their cases.
"We can start to talk about it in a way where we have a common language,"