• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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‘Ten seconds of irresponsibility’

‘Ten seconds of irresponsibility’

Italy is famous for many reasons. Italian food is considered among the best in the world. Italy is famous for the Renaissance and the incredible artists it produced. Italy is famous for its tourism, its art cities and unique scenery.

Italy is also known for its language, its opera, its fashion and its luxury brands. It is also known for its football team! The great blues. Arguably the most popular of its national treasures are its football culture and love of the family and morality.


Italy is famous for its excellent football players. The Italian national team has won the world cup four times.
Italy also has a popular national championship, Serie A: its most famous clubs are Juventus, AC Milan, inter Milan AS Roma and Victor James Osimhen’s FC Napoli just to name a few.


Italy is famous for the hugely importance placed on the idea of family, in Italian la famiglia. The Italian love for family comes in many forms, especially the strong connections with the parents and the elderly and how welcome kids are pretty much everywhere. So if you travel around Italy with kids, you often do not need to seek out kid-friendly places. Most of them are or are willing to accommodate you.

The Italian love for the family, however, doesn’t come anymore in the form of parents with many kids: the birth rate in Italy is notoriously low, and it is common for families to have no one child. However the only child is protected and kept at home for many years before setting to stay on their own. Italians don’t tolerate abuse of their children especially the girls. This protective shield was cracked with strange judgement of the judge in Rome.

The facts of the case :

According to the Daily Mail and Sun Newspapers the incident unfolded at a school in Rome in April 2022, when 66-year-old caretaker Antonio Avola plunged his hand down the trousers of a 17-year-old female student, groping her buttocks and pulling on her underwear. After being reported to police by the victim, Avola confessed to the act, claiming he had done it as ‘a joke’.

Prosecutors had called for the elderly man to receive a three-and-a-half-year sentence for sexual assault. But this week and after 15 months the judge acquitted Avola on all charges because groping was under 10 seconds ‘does not constitute a crime’.

What then constitute a crime ? Is the crime no more the act ? How do judges see the world? Shouldn’t the age of the judge be an advantage? Why can this be tolerated with the Holy Sea and the Basilica of Saint Peter down the road ? Tolerance and accommodations are good virtues for a modernist society but we must encourage pornography and a debasement of the family and its members.

In the wake of the shocking ruling, Italian actor Paolo Camilli posted a video on his TikTok account in which he filmed himself rubbing his chest for almost 10 seconds in silence, under scoring the length of time the caretaker was able to assault the teen. His post sparked a swell of protest across social media, with the hashtags #10secondi (10 seconds) and #palpatabreve (brief groping) used to share the outrage.

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Thousands took part in the protest, with some videos being re-shared by notable figures including Chiara Ferragni, a famous Italian social media influencer with almost 30 million followers. The student meanwhile was furious with the court’s decision not to punish Avola. He was also allowed to walk the halls of the school before the conclusion of the case.

‘The judges ruled that he was joking? Well, it was no joke to me,’ the student told Italian publication Corriere della Sera. ‘The caretaker came up from behind without saying anything. He put his hands down my trousers and inside my underwear. ‘He groped my bottom… For me, this is not a joke. This is not how an old man should ”joke” with a teenager.”That handful of seconds was more than enough for the caretaker to make me feel his hands on me. ‘I’m starting to think I was wrong to trust the institutions,’ she said, referencing her decision to report the caretaker to the school and police.It is not the first time such a decision by Italian judges has sparked outrage in the country.

In 2016, a 65-year-old Italian man accused of groping his female colleagues was found not guilty of sexual harassment because an Italian court ruled that he was driven by an immature sense of humour. The ruling was condemned in the country where around a third of women aged 16 to 70 are said to have suffered some form of physical or sexual violence. A junior colleague accused the man of touching her sexually, while a second woman said he treated her like ‘a little girl… as if he were giving me a light slap on the behind’, court documents stated. The court in Palermo, Sicily, admitted he had behaved exactly as the women said but decided to acquit him anyway.

Italy : A Country of faith and Unacceptable Tolerance :

Italy is the home and seat of the Catholic Church in the world , her institutions especially the courts must rise to the defense of women. Italian judges especially the female must raise their voice or this cancer would spread to the rest of Europe. Dirty men should keep their hands off our daughters, Ten seconds are too long.

Michael Umogun (fnimn) is a Chartered Marketer with interest in public policy