According to the Associated Press, the woman saying “Enough!” to her colleague who allegedly raped her wasn’t sufficient evidence for the court to rule that she was sexually attacked. The ruling pointed out how she didn’t scream, nor ask for help.
This argument, that survivors of sexual assault and rape must react a certain way to being assaulted in order prove they were assaulted, or that an absence of a reaction proves that they weren’t assaulted, perpetuates the idea that it’s the burden of the survivor to prove they’ve been violated “enough” to be believed. In turn, the court’s decision proves how survivors of sexual assault and rape are infrequently believed.
Italian justice minister Andrea Orlando is now asking ministry inspectors to check the case. The ruling has also sparked reactions from women’s groups.
“Certainly, you cannot punish the personal reaction of a woman terrified by what is happening to her,” Annagrazia Calabria, a lawmaker for Italy’s center-right party, said.