Woman alleges rape in Australian parliament

  • Woman alleges rape in Australian parliament

Woman alleges rape in Australian parliament

The alleged rape was reported to the government in March 2019 by Brittany Higgins, then a 24-year old Liberal party adviser.

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.

Now, a young campaign volunteer has spoken out as the latest alleged victim of the former senior staffer, with an eerily similar story to the two other women.

'That culture is a cancer that gives rise to these very serious events that happen in this place, that frankly wouldn't be tolerated in a good workplace and shouldn't be, ' she said.

A police media liaison officer in the capital Canberra said on Saturday there was an "open" investigation into the incident involving Higgins but that the case was not "active" because she had not filed a formal complaint.

She called on the Australian Federal Police to act swiftly over the alleged attack "in what should be the safest building in Australia".

Meanwhile, Scott Morrison says advice his office first found out about an alleged rape in Parliament House last week will come under the microscope.

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.

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

Scott Morrison says he has listened to survivor Brittany Higgins.

Ms Higgins said she expected to have a voice in framing the scope and terms of reference for a review into conditions for ministerial and parliamentary staff.

"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".

On Friday, Ms Higgins approached the AFP to reopen the investigation into her alleged rape at Parliament House in 2019.

Mr Morrison's department chief Phil Gaetjens has been tasked with looking at what and when staff in the Prime Minister's office knew of the 2019 incident.

"The type of work that the prime minister has asked me to do is to work across party lines with the opposition, with the Greens, with staff and with experts to ascertain how we can best change the workplace".

When everybody else had left, the woman said she told him she was going to catch an Uber home, and he suggested they go back to his hotel room "around the corner" instead, and he would "look after her", she told The Australian. Mr Morrison denied he had misled the public and maintains he is horrified by the allegations.

"I have told you everything I know about this matter", he said.

'These events truly do sicken me, ' he said. As they should anyone.

"The idea that the Prime Minister's Office found out about this last week is simply not credible".

On Saturday, after another woman spoke out, Mr Morrison said he was "sickened" and that the incident is "very distressing".

- Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the second alleged rape also allegedly occurred inside Parliament House.