Brittany Higgins Accuses Prime Minister Of Victim Blaming Over Her Parliament Rape Claim
Brittany Higgins has hit back at the Australian Prime Minister for questioning her version of events related to her alleged rape at Parliament.
The Liberal staffer bravely shared her story this week and sent shockwaves across the country.
Scott Morrison has spoken about his sympathies towards the young woman and has promised an inquiry into the matter and how he wasn't informed of it sooner.
The PM has been quizzed about why something wasn't done in relation to the allegations stemming from a night in 2019 in then-Defence Minister Linda Reynolds' office.
He said 'information can become confused over time about who makes contact', despite two staff members from his office being involved in handling the response to the claims.
Ms Higgins has hit back at the suggestion and explained how information about her alleged rape has been kept from her.
"I have only been made aware of key elements of my own sexual assault as a result of coming forward publicly with my story," she said.
"I didn't know that security guards let me into Minister Reynolds suite. I didn't know that a security guard came into the office multiple times seeing me in a state of undress.
"I didn't know that they debated calling an ambulance at the time of the incident.
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"The continued victim-blaming rhetoric by the Prime Minister is personally very distressing to me and countless other survivors."
Ms Higgins reported the incident to the Australian Federal Police a few days after it allegedly occurred, however she didn't make it a formal complaint.
She said that decision was due to her feeling it would jeopardise her 'dream job' so close to the federal election.
The Morrison government admits it was a mistake to conduct a meeting between Senator Reynolds' chief of staff and Ms Higgins in the room where she says she was raped.
The Senator has issued an apology for the way the situation has been handled.
"Like everybody in this building, I stand, I still stand, ready to assist Brittany in any way that I can, and this begins and ends by allowing Brittany to guide this process, respecting her privacy and respecting the integrity of what is now a police investigation,'' Senator Reynolds said.
Ms Higgins wants her story to act as a wake up call for political parties to investigate rape claims far more seriously than they have with hers.
"Political parties also need to conduct their own internal reviews and establish formal accountability processes. As we all know, this isn't a problem confined to one side of politics,'' she said.
"Everyone should feel safe to report sexual assault without fear of losing their job. These incidents shouldn't have to play out in the media for change to happen.
"I would like to extend my gratitude to those who have sent messages of support during this time. I ask for my privacy to now be respected as I begin to emotionally recover from this difficult period and wish to make no further comment."
Featured Image Credit: Network 10
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