After a second woman opened up about being sexually assaulted by the same man whom a former adviser to the government had accused of rape, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he is "sickened" by the sexual assault allegations.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported in a statement by Brittanny Higgins on Friday that the man had raped her two years ago in parliament.
Morrison apologized to Higgins for how her complaint was handled then and ordered a probe into the government's workplace culture.
Addressing the reporters on Saturday Morrison told, “We would be naive to think it’s not a challenge that other workplaces face all around the country, but I agree the parliament should be setting the standard.”
He said that he thinks there's a problem in the workplace culture that exists in the parliament.
Higgins told ABC that she was raped by a colleague (unnamed) and that she would lodge a formal complaint to open a police investigation. She told the person also worked for Morrison's ruling Liberal Party.
“These events truly do sicken me... as they should anyone,” Morrison said. “That is why I’m seeking to try to address this as swiftly but as effectively as we possibly can.”
Media reports on Saturday signals that the second woman was sexually assaulted by the man in 2020 and had been sacked following Higgin's allegations while he was working in the private sector. She was quoted saying that the alleged second attack occurred at the woman's home after two had been out on the dinner.
The Weekend reported her saying, “I am telling my story because I want to support Brittany and I want to help shine a light on this awful culture.”
A police media liaison officer in Canberra said that there was an open investigation of the incident but the case had not been active because no formal complaint had been filed. He said that the accusation by the second woman had not been referred to the police.