Brittany Higgins was just four weeks into her “dream job” as a media advisor for the federal government when she was allegedly raped by a colleague back in 2019. The assault, and the way it was then handled by her superiors, stunned the public when it was revealed earlier this month. And, even more shocking, Higgins’ harrowing story isn’t a lone incident – with mounting calls for the Australian government to look into the issue of the toxic treatment of women inside the walls of Parliament House.
During an interview with The Project, the 26-year-old described her efforts to network with her new colleagues and fellow staff members of Defence Minister Linda Reynolds, when she invited a group of them for Friday work drinks in March 2019. Hours later, an inebriated Higgins found herself being ushered back to Parliament House by an older male colleague – whose identity has yet to be revealed publicly – under the impression they were there to pick something up before he dropped her home.
“It sounds so stupid. But you just think, this is Parliament, this is work. There are security guards everywhere. And you just naturally assume it’s OK,” she later told news.com.au. “I remember getting into the cab and I remember him shushing me at the security guards because I was super drunk. He had to get me through security so he was just like, ‘Shh, you need to be quiet.’”
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