The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, gave a formal apology to an ex-member of staff in the parliament who had accused a colleague of raping her in 2019.
The accuser, Brittany Higgins, came forward to make this allegation in 2021 and this case had stirred the direction in which investigations carried out got to identify a ‘boy’s club’ culture among members of parliament that fuelled sexual abuse.
The apology tendered on Tuesday by the PM was also directed at every other person that bore the impact of such misconduct.
Brittany Higgins was present in the House of Representatives gallery to witness the apology by PM Scott Morrison.
According to his apology:
“I am sorry, we are sorry. I am sorry to Ms Higgins for the terrible things that took place here. The place that should have been a place for safety, that turned out to be a nightmare. I am sorry for far more than that. All those that came before Ms Higgins … but she dared to speak, and so here we are”.
A review spearheaded by Kate Jenkins who is Sex Discrimination Commissioner realized that about 1 in 3 staff members working in parliamentary offices have been sexually harassed.
Higgins’ allegation had prompted a nationwide protest last year, were about tens of thousands participated in reaction to PM Morrison’s outrageous response to her accusation.
He had stated that investigations would commence because he could not bear the same happening to his daughter. The backlash from the known author, Jamila Rizvi, claimed no man had to have a daughter before he should be able to respond rationally to rape accusations.
The review conducted by Jenkins demanded that Morrison issued a formal apology.
Jenkins’ team had got in touch with about 500 staff members for interviews and received about 300 written submissions detailing a culture of sexual abuse and sexual assault among members of parliament.