Australian PM Apologizes for Mishandling Staffer Rape Accusation

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologized to a former staffer after alleging she was raped by a colleague in Parliament House.

Former Liberal Party staffer Brittany Higgins claimed she was sexually assaulted by another staffer in March 2019 at the Parliament House, after a night out with colleagues.

The accused staffer took her to then office of minister Linda Reynolds. In an interview, Higgins said she woke up to the staffer on top of her.

“All of sudden he was on top of me and I physically couldn’t get him off of me,’’ Higgins told news.com.au.

“I woke up mid-rape. I told him to stop. I was crying. He wasn’t even looking at me. It felt like I was sort of a body that was there. It didn’t feel like it was anything about me.”

The accused resigned immediately after the incident.

On Tuesday, Morrison said, “That should not have happened, and I do apologize.”

“It shatters me that still, in this day and age, a young woman can find herself in the vulnerable situation that she was in, not her doing,” the PM added.

Morrison said that more should be done to ensure safety for people in the workplace.

Meanwhile, Reynolds also apologized saying, “I deeply, deeply regret conducting the meeting in my office where the alleged incident occurred.”

Higgins responded, “The prime minister’s announcement of an investigation into the culture in Parliament House is a welcomed first step, though it is long overdue.”


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