At her trial in the ACT Supreme Court, Brittany Higgins said she felt ‘trapped’ during the alleged rape, while the man she was accused of attacking did not seem upset or embarrassed. She told police that she felt ‘not human’ and ‘not about me’.
The accusations of rape have shaken Australia’s political scene, reigniting debates about the country’s political culture and its relationship with women. Calls have been made for cultural change, criminal justice reform, and increased funding for women’s safety services. Regardless of the outcome of this case, Australians are continuing to fight for equality in their country.
Higgins claimed she felt ‘trapped’ during the alleged rape, and said she was unable to escape. Her accuser, a former minister’s adviser and former staffer, Bruce Lehrmann, has pleaded not guilty to the charges of rape.
The Australian government has condemned the incident, calling it “deeply disturbing” and saying it regretted that the woman had felt unsupported in her time of need. They urged Higgins to contact police. The minister did not respond to a request for comment. The government has said that one in six women in Australia have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives, and the number of reported assaults has increased over the last decade.