Australian PM Morrison apologizes to ex-staffer alleging colleague raped her

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologized to a former staffer for how her sexual assault complaint was handled after she alleged that a colleague raped her.

Former staffer Brittany Higgins said she was not supported when she reported that she was raped two years ago in the office of then-Defense Industry Minister Linda Reynolds, Higgins said in an interview Monday, The Associated Press reported.

Higgins said that Reynolds questioned her story and made her meet in the office where the alleged rape took place.

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“That should not have happened, and I do apologize,” Morrison said while also condemning the meeting in the same office where the alleged rape happened.

“I deeply, deeply regret conducting the meeting in my office where the alleged incident occurred,” Reynolds said.

Higgins has not named the man she is accusing but says he has been fired because he left her in the office alone, which is considered a security breach. 

Higgins said she did not speak up because she did want to jeopardize her future employment, although Reynolds said Higgins’s employment was never threatened if she came forward, according to The Associated Press. 

“We have to do more, whether it’s in this workplace or any other workplace in the country, to ensure people can work safely in their place and be at their best and do what they went into that job to do,” Morrison said. 

Morrison has ordered for Parliament’s culture to be investigated and for new procedures to be enacted to create a better workplace.