Sudden, Forced, and Unwanted Kisses in the #MeToo Era: Why A Kiss is Not 'Just A Kiss' Under Italian Sexual Violence Law

32 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2019

Date Written: September 12, 2019

Abstract

#MeToo reports have revealed a significant number of forced kisses typically by men in positions of authority. Previous scholarship in the US has viewed such instances as to rare or too minor to be worthy of criminal sanctions. Indeed, there are no such reported criminal cases involving adults. However, in Italy, the Supreme Court of Cassazione has upheld sexual violence convictions for such forced kisses. This article analyzes these cases and investigates the types of considerations the Italian Supreme Court includes in its evaluation of these situations. This article also suggests specific aspects of US laws that could benefit from a comparative analysis. While forced kisses are not the same as rape, the #MeToo movement has shown that these are more common than previously thought and cause harm to the survivors.

Keywords: sexual violence, Italian law, #MeToo

Suggested Citation

Van Cleave, Rachel A., Sudden, Forced, and Unwanted Kisses in the #MeToo Era: Why A Kiss is Not 'Just A Kiss' Under Italian Sexual Violence Law (September 12, 2019). University of Detroit Mercy Law Review, Vol. 96, No. 627, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3452953

Rachel A. Van Cleave (Contact Author)

Golden Gate University School of Law ( email )

536 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States
415-442-6601 (Phone)
415-442-6609 (Fax)

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