Thu. May 26th, 2022

The ACT has become the first Australian jurisdiction to criminalize theft – a practice allegedly committed against every third woman.

Stealthing is non-consent removal of condom during sex.

Canberra Liberal leader Elizabeth Lee introduced the new legislation, which was unanimously adopted by the ACT Legislative Assembly yesterday.

She said changing the law on sexual consent would mean that “intentional fraudulent representation” about using a condom during sex would be a crime.

Elizabeth looks seriously into the camera.
Elizabeth Lee says stealing is harmful to both physical and mental health. (

By Greg Nelson


“Stealing is a traumatic thing for any person to go through, and I am very proud that the ACT has adopted national reforms to specifically criminalize this heinous act,” she said.

Ms Lee said stealing risked both physical and mental health, including the transmission of sexually transmitted infections and diseases, unplanned pregnancies, depression, anxiety and in some cases post-traumatic stress disorder.

She said a theft case had been in the Victorian courts for more than two years without result and that she did not want the same thing to happen in the area.

“We need to act proactively and send a clear message to society that this behavior is unacceptable and a crime.”

The bill amends existing consent provisions under the Crimes Act to explicitly state that a person’s consent is denied if it is due to the intentional misrepresentation of the other person about the use of a condom.

Mrs Lee said it meant the ACT was the first Australian jurisdiction to specifically criminalize practices.

The study found that a third of the women had been snailed

A study from Monash University with more than 2,000 people in 2018 showed that of the respondents, one in three women and one in five men who had had sex with men had been stolen.

The ACT government sees practices as already illegal under existing law.

However, ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury has previously said that there may be value in “putting this in doubt by creating an explicit definition of stealing.”

“A strong and clear criminal response to sexual abuse is important, not only for victims and survivors, but for society as a whole,” Rattenbury said.

“In short, stealing is rape.

“It is important that we have a community-wide culture that understands and promotes sexual safety and consent.”


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