Woman alleges rape in Australian parliament

Brunilde Fioravanti
Febbraio 21, 2021

Mr Morrison welcomed a decision by the first woman, former adviser Brittany Higgins, to now make a formal complaint with the Australian Federal Police about her alleged rape in the building in 2019.

The woman, who spoke with The Australian on a condition of anonymity, alleged she was sexually assaulted late previous year by the same former government advisor accused of abusing former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins.

Ms Higgins has called for major changes to the way federal political staffers are treated and how complaints at Parliament House are handled.

The 26-year-old said she then woke up to the man sexually assaulting her.

Scott Morrison says he has listened to survivor Brittany Higgins.

'At the time this was a hard, it was a complex, and it was a highly sensitive matter, ' she said.

Mr Morrison said the claims were deeply distressing and he had sought to be as "open and honest" as he could.

"Too often, a toxic workplace culture can emerge that enables inappropriate conduct and this is exacerbated by the disparity in the power dynamics".

The second alleged attack occurred at the woman's home after the two had been out for dinner, she was quoted as saying.

The woman said the man left in the early hours of the morning and she later consulted her doctor.

Ms Higgins told the ABC this week she had not been encouraged to make a police complaint at the time of her assault when she worked in parliament for Defence Minister Lynda Reynolds.

"I was failed repeatedly, but I now have my voice, and I am determined to use to ensure that this is never allowed to happen to another member of staff again". Mr Morrison claimed his office did not find out about the alleged rape until last week and he was not informed until Monday.

The journalist then thanked Ms Higgins for "refusing to be silenced" as for shining a spot light on the "concerning culture" in parliament house.

"There are text messages saying that a senior staff member was going to discuss this with the Prime Minister's chief of staff", Mr Albanese said.

What does Ms Higgins allege?


While the messages appear to confirm her account, Mr Morrison wants the nation's top public servant to review communication records. He refused and we argued and I told him five or six times that we couldn't have sex unless he wore a condom.

A family friend of the alleged second victim told The Weekend Australian the woman had made the same allegations to her in the weeks after the alleged incident.

"This has been a challenging issue for many, many years".

"I think we've got a problem in the parliament and the workplace culture that we have to work on".

"I set out in the parliament this week the timetable of when I am advised my office knew about it", Mr Morrison said on Friday. As they should anyone.

Australia's Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese today described the new reports as "shocking" and "distressing".

The prime minister also remains under scrutiny over what he knew about the allegations, given at least two of his staff were involved in handling the staffer's complaint.

"The idea that the Prime Minister's Office found out about this last week is simply not credible. And it needs to have the authority to deal with it as well", Mr Albanese told reporters.

This article contains references to rape and sexual assault.

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