Brittany Higgins has released a statement in response to an article in The Australian (‘ACT cop careers destroyed by DPP false claims,’ 9 August 2023) on the Sofronoff Inquiry report into the prosecution of Bruce Lehrmann.
*CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses rape
THESE POLICE never wanted to charge my rapist despite the fact that no one, not even the defence, made an application contending that the prosecution was not properly commenced.
They made a fun folder full of unfounded claims in a literal attempt to discredit me as a permissible rape victim to the Office of the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions].
They wrongly handed over my most private thoughts taken over years in counselling sessions at the Rape Crisis Centre to defence.
And by Walter [Sofronoff]'s own admission didn't know the threshold for charging in sexual offences.
These men were absolutely awful to me. They made me feel violated at every turn.
I will always remember how small I felt in having five senior police officers I've never met in a room belittling me — after I had just spent hours giving evidence in a second EIC [evidence in chief] interview.
They cast judgements about the merits of my advocacy and regularly reiterated the reasons why they thought that I shouldn't proceed with pressing charges.
I do not celebrate the misfortune of others. However, these officers were disgraced by their conduct, not by the DPP.
If you would like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.
Brittany Higgins is a visiting fellow at the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, a fierce advocate for workplace and women’s safety and a former political advisor. This statement has been reproduced with permission.
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