Is it considered sexual harassment if someone touches you inappropriately for less than 10 seconds? Many young people in Italy are upset because a judge cleared a school caretaker of groping a teenager, saying it didn’t last long enough to be a crime. The incident involved a 17-year-old student in Rome. She was walking to class with a friend when the caretaker touched her inappropriately and made excuses that he was joking. The student reported it to the police, and the caretaker admitted to the act but said it was just a joke. The prosecutor asked for a prison sentence, but the caretaker was acquitted because the judges said it wasn’t a crime since it lasted less than 10 seconds. After the ruling, many Italians started a trend on Instagram and TikTok called “palpata breve” or brief groping, where they touch their intimate parts for 10 seconds silently.
Many people in Italy are upset about a court’s decision to clear a school caretaker of groping a teenager because the incident lasted less than 10 seconds. To protest this decision, many have posted videos on social media where they touch their intimate parts for 10 seconds to show how long it can feel. Even famous influencers like Paolo Camilli and Chiara Ferragni have joined this trend.
Francesco Cicconetti, another influencer, questions why someone decided that 10 seconds is not a long time when you’re being harassed. He believes that men should never touch women’s bodies without their consent, even for a second.
The judges in the case said the caretaker’s action was just a brief, awkward move without any sexual intentions, but the student who was groped disagrees. She feels betrayed by her school and the justice system, as she sees the incident as a serious violation, not a joke.
She worries that this ruling will discourage other girls and women from reporting similar attacks. It’s been observed that many Italian women don’t report harassment incidents, and this silence protects the offenders.