A man accused of raping a colleague is acquitted because she 'did not scream'.

Outrage over an Italian judge’s decision to acquit an accused rapist because his alleged victim did not scream has led to an inquiry into the ruling.

Last month, a judge ruled that the woman saying “stop it” and “enough” without crying out or calling for help during the alleged attack was not the reaction of a rape victim and tossed the case out, the BBC reports.

Backlash over the court’s decision came from the public, including Italian politicians Alessandra Mussolini and Annagrazia Calabria, who labelled it “incomprehensible and far removed from justice”.

The outrage was so much that the country’s justice minister, Andrea Orlando, asked ministry inspectors to begin looking into the case, according to news service Ansa.

The alleged victim said a Red Cross colleague who she worked with in the northern city of Turin had forced her into sexual acts in 2011.

The woman claimed the man threatened to stop providing her with work if she did not comply, Italian newspaper the Corriere della Sera reports.

Explaining her reaction to the assault – during which she told the 46-year-old to “stop it” – the alleged victim said she felt paralysed.

“Sometimes saying no is enough but maybe I did not use the force and violence that in reality I should have used, but that is because with people who are too strong, I just freeze,” she said.

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However, the judge said she had not shown “the emotion that a violation of her person had to inspire in her” and ruled the assault “did not exist”, acquitting the defendant.

Instead of seeing her alleged attacker face justice, the woman was then reportedly met with a slander charge.

Italian politician Annagrazia Calabria described the decision as leaving her “speechless” in a Facebook post.

“The suffering of those who live through a terrifying and despicable act is not measurable by screams. And certainly, you cannot punish the personal reaction of a woman who is terrified by what is happening to her,” Calabria wote.

Alessandra Mussolini in Rome in 2015. (Image via Getty.)

Meanwhile, fellow MP Alessandra Mussolini called the ruling "abhorrent" and "a time bomb waiting to explode".

"A woman who sees her torturer spared from prison is raped twice," Mussolini told Reuters.

This is not the first time in recent years Italian judges have made questionable rulings around rape that provoked anger in the community.

In 1999, Italy's highest appeals court quashed the rape conviction and sentence of a man because the victim wore tight jeans, arguing the 45-year-old man would not have been able to remove them without the 18-year-old's consent.

Then in 2012, the Italian Supreme Court ruled two 19-year-olds charged with the gang rape of a younger teenager didn't have to be incarcerated while they awaited trial.

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.