The problem of the toxic treatment of women in the parliament building is, according to new allegations, that an employee of the federal government in an office of the minister

Newscomau has reported that a man who works for then Secretary of Defense Linda Reynolds took a 24-year-old media worker to the House of Parliament after a session on Friday evening in March 2019 and allegedly raped her in the Secretary of Defense’s office

Her story follows that of other women who spoke about the inappropriate treatment at work in the Parliament building

She said she felt like she was being asked to choose between filing a formal complaint or keeping her job

After a stint with Minister of Labor Michaelia Cash, Ms. Higgins has now resigned from her position in the government

A statement from a member of the Prime Minister’s Office said the reports were “deeply troubling”

“Throughout the process, it has been the government’s primary concern to support the welfare of Ms. Higgins in every possible way,” the statement reads

“Ms. Higgins has been asked for advice at all times on how to proceed and support and respect her decisions”

Days after the alleged incident, a meeting between Senator Reynolds, Ms. Higgins, and an officer took place in the minister’s office – the site of the alleged crime

“Given the gravity of the incident, the location of the meeting with Ms. Higgins should have been considered and, with hindsight, this oversight is regretted”

Senator Reynolds, now Secretary of Defense, told the Senate she was “extremely concerned” for the well-being of Ms. Higgins

“Women should be safe and feel safe in the workplace at all times,” she said

“My only priority on this matter was the well-being of my then co-worker and making sure she got the support she needed

“This included realizing the support available to her and giving her the right to file a formal complaint with the Australian Federal Police if she so chooses”

She added that she “went out of her way to ensure my co-worker was empowered to determine how to deal with the matter, and that remains the case”

Senator Reynolds said she did not know the alleged incident occurred at the office when she arranged the meeting and said she would have held the meeting elsewhere if she had known

Tipping the statement from his office in Parliament, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government “takes all these matters, all workplace safety issues very, very seriously”

“Assault of any kind, especially sexual assault, is just incredible. Ms. Higgins is incredibly brave to speak up and we should all respect that”

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

“Victims always have a say in how far a police investigation goes, can determine that a matter is not prosecuted, and can withdraw from the process at any time,” police said

“It is not uncommon for an investigation to be closed at the request of a victim, not prosecuted, or reopened at a later date”

Ms. Higgins said she chose not to file a formal complaint because she wanted to protect the Liberal Party’s reputation at the time and keep her “dream job”

She said she was given the opportunity to campaign in May 2019 in Western Australia – Senator Reynolds’ home state – or to return to the Gold Coast

Following news comAu she said she was told she would not have a job after the election if she went to the Gold Coast

The Prime Minister’s statement reads: “The government has set itself the goal of providing Ms. Higgins with an agency to make decisions in her interests and to respect her privacy”

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Brittany Higgins

World News – AU – Employees allegedly raped in the minister’s office of parliament