Former Liberal aide Brittany Higgins, who claims she was raped in a ministerial office in the House of Parliament in March 2019, says she is becoming a formal police complaint

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Ms. Higgins said she would be proceeding with the complaint about the alleged incident in what she said was “the safest building in Australia”

“First, I want a full police investigation into what happened to me and so that my abuser faces the full force of the law,” she said

Ms Higgins told Newscom earlier this week she was taken to the House of Parliament after a night in March 2019 by a man who worked for then Secretary of Defense Linda Reynolds and allegedly raped in the minister’s office

“The Australian Federal Police have assured me that they will handle this matter thoroughly and transparently,” said Ms. Higgins

“I would also ask that you deal with this in good time I’ve waited a long time for justice “

ACT police previously confirmed that they spoke to a complainant in April 2019, but the complainant chose not to make a formal complaint

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologized to Ms. Higgins for the way her complaint was handled

But he, Senator Reynolds and other members of the government, repeatedly said they respected Ms. Higgins’ decisions to report or not to report the rape both then and now

“The Prime Minister has repeatedly told Parliament that in the future I should receive ‘agency’,” Ms Higgins said in her statement

“I don’t think I have been provided with an agency in the past two years, but I am picking it up now and have told the Prime Minister’s Office that I have a voice in determining the scope and scope of a new one and major agency awaits review of conditions for all ministerial and parliamentary staff

“It is important that the reform is real and that it drives changes that go beyond what happened to me and how the system let me down

“From the start I was driven by my desire to make sure that no other person had to go through the trauma I experienced while I was in the Parliament building

“I have failed repeatedly, but now I have my vote and I am determined to use [it] to ensure this is not allowed to happen to any other employee”

Ms Higgins also said she was “determined” to change the way Parliament responds to similar issues and how it treats staff who come forward

“I believe that getting to the bottom of what happened to me and how the system failed is crucial in order to create a new framework for political personnel that will ensure real cultural change and the trust of the Restores employees, “she said

Following Ms. Higgins’ allegations, the Prime Minister announced three separate investigations into what support is available to staff and what procedures are in place to deal with complaints, what problems the broader work culture is having and what is possible is done to bring the parliament building in line with other institutions

In addition, when the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) learned of the alleged rape, Mr. Morrison asked the division chief to investigate

He remains firmly convinced that his office first learned of the allegation last week, an allegation that Ms. Higgins rejects

However, text messages, first published by News Corp Australia, indicate that in April 2019, a month before the federal elections, it was an exchange between a male Liberal employee and Ms. Higgins

The former advisor, who asked not to be named, told ABC that he called a member of the PMO in April 2019 to inform him of the alleged incident and seek more support for Ms. Higgins

He said he called the PMO with the assistance of Ms. Higgins and was particularly keen to heighten concerns about the delay in providing counseling support

The ABC has also received a text message, first reported by The Australian, in which the former adviser Ms. Higgins said he had spoken to the Prime Minister’s Office

Ms. Higgins also reiterated her call for a “comprehensive review” of the employment of ministerial and parliamentary staff

“Policy advisors have very few safeguards, resources and confidential reporting mechanisms to address workplace issues,” she said

“You are not a public servant and you work in an extremely high pressure environment. Too often, a toxic workplace culture can emerge that enables inappropriate behavior, and this is compounded by inequality in performance dynamics

“How ministerial and parliamentary staff are treated is a bipartisan matter that affects and should be treated as such”

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World News – AU – “I have failed repeatedly”: Brittany Higgins has filed a formal police complaint in the House of Parliament for alleged rape

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-19/brittany-higgins-to-make-formal-police-complaint-alleged-rape/13173730