Content warning: This article includes mentions of sexual assault.

Brittany Higgins has spoken publicly for the first time since the charges of sexual assault were dropped against Bruce Lehrmann due to concerns about her mental health.

The former Liberal staffer took to social media with her statement about the trial, noting that “the outcome does not affect the truth”.

“I chose to speak up,” she began.

“To speak up against rape. To speak up against injustice. To speak up and share my experiences with others.

“I told the truth – no matter how uncomfortable or how unflattering – to the Court. The outcome does not affect the truth. When I did speak up, I never fully understood our asymmetrical criminal justice system.

“But I do now.”

Higgins, who testified and was cross-examined during the initial trial while Lehrmann wasn’t, continued to describe the impact of taking sexual assault allegations to court and how alleged offenders aren’t impacted to the same degree.

“I was requested to tell the truth under oath over a week on the witness stand and was cross-examined at length,” she continued.

“He was afforded the choice of staying silent in court. Head down in a notebook, completely detached.

“He never faced one question in court about his story or the criminal charges.”

She added that surrendered her phones, passwords, photos and other data to the court, a requirement Lehrmann was not made to comply with.

“My life was publicly scrutinised, open for the world to see. His was not,” she wrote.

Higgins also addressed the scrutiny the media faced for initially referring to the trial as the ‘Higgins trial’, saying that she didn’t blame the media “because to me it is very obvious who is on trial”.

“He hasn’t had to be publicly accountable – for his actions of any part of his story,” she continued.

“This is the reality of how complainants in sexual assault cases are treated.

“Their lives are torn apart, their families and friends called to the witness stand and the accused has the legal right to say absolutely nothing.

“Like all women who experience sexual violence, I knew the odds were stacked against me from the outset.”

She went on to address the imbalance in Australia’s legal system, citing statistics that said only 16 percent of sexual offences reported to police in the ACT during 2020 led to a charge, with only half of that 16 percent resulting in a conviction.

“That is to our national shame,” she wrote.

“I want to thank the other women who came forward and shared their own experiences.

“I believe you. You were with me every day I walked into that courtroom and faced him.”

Higgins also went on to thank those who attended the March 4 Justice rallies,  journalists “who helped amplify the issue” and mental health workers, “without whom, I literally would not be here today”.

Her statement comes a week after the charges against Lehrmann were dropped and a retrial set for next year was scrapped.

The initial trial, which began in October, ended with no verdict due to juror misconduct.

If you or someone you know is in need of support as a result of sexual assault or child contact LifeLine on 13 11 14 for immediate support or call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit

Image: Getty Images

This article first appeared on OverSixty.