Parliament House
(Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

This article was written by a former staffer who spent 10 years working in the ministerial and electorate offices of federal MPs. She has requested anonymity and chosen to write the piece because "there just is nowhere else but the media where we can be heard".

The fact that Brittany Higgins was allegedly raped in the Parliament of Australia should be irrelevant: sexual assault is abhorrent no matter where it occurs.

Many of us who work there know the mindset that guided those around her both when it happened and last week when they responded: this is a political problem; this needs to be managed.