Australian political adviser to report alleged rape to police

Sydney, Australia, Feb 19 (efe-epa).- The former adviser to Australia’s governing party, who this week said in the media that she was raped two years ago by a co-worker in parliament, said Friday she would file a formal complaint with the police.

In a statement collected by public television network ABC, Brittany Higgins said she would file the complaint for the abuses suffered in March 2019 in the office of the Defense Ministry in parliament, a place she said “should be the safest place in Australia.”

“First of all I want a thorough police investigation into what happened to me … and for my assailant to face the full force of the law,” she said.

Higgins assured the Australian Federal Police has given her assurances that the investigation will be carried out in a thorough and transparent manner and asked them to do so quickly.

“I have waited a long time for justice. (…) I think that getting to the bottom of what happened to me and how the system failed is essential to create a new framework for party workers that ensures a true cultural change,” said the former adviser to the Liberal Party, to which Prime Minister Scott Morrison belongs.

The president and his government have received criticism for their handling of the case since Higgins told Network 10 channel Monday that a man who worked for the Liberal Party raped her in the parliamentary office of Defense Minister Linda Reynolds in March 2019.

The alleged victim declared she had spoken with police in April of that same year, but decided not to file a formal complaint for fear that it would have negative repercussions on her professional career.

Higgins also said she told a member of Reynolds’ team, but felt she downplayed the problem when she asked her to attend a meeting in the same room where the incident occurred.

Morrison apologized to the media Tuesday for the way the complaint was handled and said he had commissioned his team to carry out an investigation to improve the process of handling complaints and reports at work. EFE-EPA


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