Lidia Thorpe has claimed that her allegations of sexual assault in Parliament were not believed until a ‘white woman’ also spoke out.
The independent senator sensationally claimed she was harassed and assaulted by Liberal senator David Van on Wednesday.
Later that night, she retracted those comments for parliamentary reasons, doubling down on Thursday. Hours after her second Senate speech, former Senator Amanda Stoker came forward with her own accusations against Mr. Van.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton, who took steps to remove Mr Van from the Liberal party chamber, has since confirmed there are more allegations than Ms Stoker and Ms Thorpe.
Mr Van vehemently denied the allegations on Wednesday, insisting that ‘it just isn’t true’, prompting Senator Thorpe to leave the Senate. Above with his partner Nerilee
Lidia Thorpe has doubled down on her allegations of being sexually assaulted under parliamentary privilege, claiming she was ‘aggressively followed, presented and touched inappropriately’ – but insisted she would not press charges
“I have made another accusation to Senator Van, but I will not comment further on those matters. I made a decision yesterday based on all the information available to me,” he said.
Mr Van released a statement on Friday stating that his ‘good reputation’ had been ‘deliberately harassed without due process or accountability’.
Ms Thorpe told ABC RN on Friday: “It wasn’t until a white woman stood up and said, ‘Yeah, this happened to me too,'” did the media take notice,’ she said.
“I think that’s a great example of the media landscape in this country and that’s systemic racism.
‘I was not believed. I was interrogated. I was absolutely demonized that day, by everyone. And you wonder why women don’t speak up. You wonder why we are being silenced. It’s because of that kind of behaviour.’
Former Liberal senator Amanda Stoker issued a statement Thursday night claiming the Victorian senator had “inappropriately touched” her “at an informal social gathering in a parliamentary office” in November 2020
Former Liberal National Senator Amanda Stoker released a statement Thursday night claiming the Victorian Senator had “inappropriately touched” her “at an informal social gathering in a parliamentary office” in November 2020.
‘He did that by squeezing my buttocks twice. By its nature and repetition, it was not accidental,” she claimed.
Mr Van said he had no recollection of having had such an encounter with Mrs Stoker.
She claims to have informed an elderly female colleague of the alleged incident, but felt no need to go any further, confident that the matter had been settled.
In light of Ms Thorpe’s allegations in the Senate on Wednesday – in which she said under parliamentary privilege that Mr Van was a ‘perpetrator’ – Ms Stoker felt it was ‘no longer tenable’ to remain silent.
“I think all women should be free from unwanted advances and be sure to speak up immediately and be respected for doing so,” she said.
Ms Thorpe claims she was a victim of inappropriate behavior in Parliament House, being ‘aggressively followed, introduced and inappropriately touched’ by an unnamed man.
Mr Van vehemently denies Mrs Thorpe’s allegations, saying they are all untrue.
Peter Dutton evicted Senator David Van from the Liberal banquet hall after a second woman came forward with allegations against him
The former Green and now Independent senator tearfully told Parliament she never spoke publicly about her alleged experiences, which she says happened around the time Brittany Higgins came forward with rape allegations, to avoid drawing those’s attention. matter deduced.
Instead, she put her trust in the Liberal Party that her complaint would be taken seriously. Ms Thorpe said she has no intention of taking the complaint to the police.
During her emotional Senate speech on Thursday, Ms Thorpe said parliament was “not a safe space for women” when she arrived in 2020.
‘You are often alone in long corridors, without windows, in hidden stairwells where there are no cameras.’
She said there are “different views on what constitutes assault” and that when she made her complaint to the then government – the Coalition – “it was recognized as such”.
“I was afraid to walk out the office door. I’d open it up a bit and make sure the coast was clear before stepping out,” she said. “I had to be accompanied by someone – that’s how the Greens supported me and I’m grateful for that.”
Ms Thorpe told the Senate she was confident then Prime Minister Scott Morrison had been notified. He said in a statement Wednesday that he cannot recall if this was the case.
The allegations prompted Liberal leader Peter Dutton to suspend David Van from the banquet hall as the Parliament Workplace Support Service conducts an investigation
“I was convinced that the government believed me … my confidence in the Liberal Party was not the right decision,” said Ms Thorpe.
“Until yesterday I thought they were taking the matter seriously.”
Ms Thorpe said ‘silence is violence’ and said she had to speak out on Wednesday when Mr Van ‘had the courage to stand up in parliament’ to address the handling of Ms Higgins’ complaint in parliament this week.
She will not take legal action or go to the police, but has sworn’continue to speak out against the abuse and harassment taking place in this building.”
‘That’s my choice. I want to focus on making this place safe for everyone,” she added.
And at the moment it is not a safe place for women and I call on the government to immediately increase the number of security guards in the building and cameras in the corridors and to consult women who work here about what measures can and should be taken. . taken.’