Australian Prime Minister apologizes to former staffer allegedly raped in Parliament office

堪培拉, 澳大利亚 Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologized Tuesday to a former government staffer who alleged that she was raped by a colleague in Parliament House two years ago.

Morrison promised an investigation in the alleged rape and the culture inside the country’s political capital, a day after the former staff went to the media with her story.
Brittany Higgins alleges she was raped by a former colleague in the defense minister’s office after an evening work event in March 2019.
In an interview with Australia’s Network 10 表演 “The Project” 在星期一, Higgins said she tried to go home, but the unnamed colleague insisted they go to Parliament House in a taxi topick something up,” where she passed out on a couch.
    她告诉 “The Projectshe woke up to find her colleague on top of hermid-rape,” and when she repeatedly asked him to stop, he didn’t. Higgins has not publicly identified her alleged rapist.
    Higgins said she spoke with the police in early April 2019, but decided against making a formal complaint amid concerns about her career prospects. “It’s just not the right decision for me personally, especially in the light of my workplace demands,” 她写了, according to Australia’s Police in Canberra confirmed to Reuters they had spoken to a complainant in April 2019, but she chose not to make a formal complaint.
    After Higgins told senior staff in Reynoldsoffice of the alleged attack, she said in the interview that she was then asked to attend a meeting in the office where she says she was assaulted.
    Defense Minister Linda Reynolds told Parliament on Monday that she didn’t know the substance of the allegations when she called the meeting with her staff member, 和 “had I known, I would have conducted the meeting elsewhere.
    Morrison on Tuesday apologized to Higgins and promised an investigation. The Prime Minister said that the alleged perpetrator wasquite swiftlyfired for breaching security by entering Parliament House on the night of the alleged rape.
    That should not have happened, and I do apologize,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra. “I want to make sure any young woman working in this place is as safe as possible.
    According to Morrison, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet official Stephanie Foster will investigate how workplace complaints in Parliament are dealt with. There will also be a separate probe into workplace culture.
    在给CNN的声明中, Higgins said that she had come forwardbecause I didn’t want what happened to me, to happen to anyone else.
    While she thanked Morrison for his apology, Higgins said the Prime Minister’s announcement of an investigation into Parliament House culture waslong overdue.
    It should not have taken my story, or the story of other victim-survivors to air on national television for the Prime Ministeror any Member of Parliamentto take action on workplace sexual harassment, assault or bullying,” she said in the statement.
    希金斯’ allegations are the latest in a series of accusations made by female members of the governing Liberal Party, which have put pressure of Morrison to take steps to improve the government’s workplace culture.
    去年, a former Liberal Party staff member accused then-immigration minister Alan Tudge of improper behavior, which he denies.
      In her statement, Higgins called for Parliament to establish an independent reporting mechanism through which complaints could be made confidentially.
      “最后, 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,” 她说.