A formal Liberal Party staffer plans to pursue a police investigation into allegations of rape against a colleague.
Brittany Higgins alleges she was sexually assaulted by a male colleague in the office of then-Defence Industry Minister Linda Reynolds after a night out in 2019.
Ms Higgins decided not to pursue a police complaint at the time because she felt pressure that doing so would affect her employment.
She has since resigned from her job in government and plans to reinstate the police complaint.
“I think that resigning is the only thing I can personally do to say that I don’t think anyone else should go through what I went through,” Ms Higgins told Network Ten.
She also plans to initiate a formal complaint with the Department of Finance, which handles work-related ministerial staff complaints.
Senator Reynolds has told parliament she never forced Ms Higgins to choose between her job and making a police complaint.
The minister also expressed regret for setting up a formal meeting about the incident in the same room the alleged rape occurred.
“My only priority throughout this matter was the welfare of my then-staff member and ensuring that she received the support that she needed,” the now-Defence Minister said.
“That included ensuring that she was clear about the support available to her and her right to make a formal complaint to the Australian Federal Police should she choose to do so.
“I was at pains to ensure that my staff member felt empowered to determine how she wanted to handle the matter, and that remains the case.”
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