CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses rape and suicide.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, senators and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have been sent a letter accusing a Cabinet Minister in federal government of an alleged rape that occurred in 1988.

The letter was sent to Penny Wong, Sarah Hanson-Young as well as AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw, and is a detailed statement prepared by the victim and her lawyer, according to the ABC.

“This morning I received information regarding a disturbing and a very serious allegation of a criminal nature against a senior member of the government,” Hanson-Young told Four Corners in a statement on Friday.

“Following the advice given to the Prime Minister by the AFP Commissioner this week, I have spoken with the Police Commissioner today, who is now taking steps in relation to this information.”

The alleged rape was first reported in February 2020 to detectives from NSW Police Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad. The woman also told a number of friends before taking her own life in June last year.

The woman’s death means that a criminal investigation can longer proceed. However, the letter urges Scott Morrison to set up an independent parliamentary investigation into the Cabinet Minister and the alleged rape that took place.

“When news of [the complainant’s alleged] rape becomes widely known to the public (as it most likely will), legitimate questions will be asked as to who knew what, when they knew and what they did,” the woman’s correspondent wrote in the letter.

“This is occurring today in relation to Brittany Higgins,” they added.

The woman alleged that was anally raped by the member of parliament when she was 16.

“If this story does become public knowledge, I hope that it will encourage other women to come forward,” she wrote in the statement.

“Not for me, but for themselves… I also hope that other people who have endured similar traumas, should these facts become public knowledge, will feel less alone.”


Help is available.

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.

If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online

If you are in distress, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online. 

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.

You can also reach the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 or chat online.

Image: Getty Images / Sam Mooy