Addressing lawmakers, Morrison apologized directly to former staffer Brittany Higgins who said she was raped by a male colleague in a minister’s office in 2019.
I apologize to Ms. Higgins for the terrible things that happened here, but I am sorry for much more for all those who came before her and suffered the same, said the Prime Minister as he described a decades-long culture of abuse in the halls of power.
This has to change. It is changing and I believe it will, he said.
Higgins’ case was made public in January last year, sparking protests across the country, and Australians were particularly shocked by the way she was treated by her bosses.
She said she felt pressured not to go to the Police ahead of the 2019 election and described a “culture of silence” in Australian political parties.
Following her allegations and those of other staff members who came forward after her, the government launched several investigations.
One of them found that one in three people currently working at Commonwealth locations had experienced sexual harassment while working there.