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Lisa Wilkinson reflects on her friendship with Brittany Higgins a year after her allegations changed the face of Australia

It's hard to believe how far we've come - and how much further we still have to go.

By Maddison Leach
Trigger warning: This article contains discussion of sexual assault that may be triggering for some readers.
Almost one year after Brittany Higgins sent shockwaves through the country after coming forward with her sexual assault allegations, Lisa Wilkinson is reflecting on how much has changed.
In 2021 Australia was confronted with the harsh reality of sexual harassment and abuse in politics when Brittany claimed she was raped by a colleague at Parliament House.
Her accusation sparked a movement that called for change at all levels of Australian politics, especially after she shared her story in a TV interview with Lisa.
Lisa shared this photo with Brittany alongside a powerful message of support. (Instagram)
Reflecting on how that moment came about – and the friendship they've shared since – Lisa took to Instagram to pay tribute to Brittany and the action she has inspired.
"Hard to believe it's exactly a year since this incredible woman @brittanyhiggins_ came into my life," The Project reporter captioned a photo of them together.
"First an email, and then a phone call that began a chain of events that, four incredibly intense weeks behind-the-scenes later on Feb 15, would create headlines and go on to change forever the lives of countless women - and men - across the country."
Lisa continued: "The courage you have shown over the past year Britt, and the passion you have in continuing to drive change in the workplace and for survivors of sexual assault has been an absolute inspiration to be around.
"Thank you for trusting me with your story. You are quite simply an incredible human being. One I am truly so privileged to know.🙏🌺"
This isn't the first time Lisa has celebrated Brittany for her bravery, especially in the face of the trauma, criticism and vile online attacks she received after speaking out.
In a comment on the emotional post, Brittany confessed she couldn't believe it had already been a year since she came forward for the first time.
"Thank-you for your unwavering support and friendship," she wrote to Lisa.
WATCH: Girlfriend meets with protestors at the March 4 Justice in Sydney. Post continues after video...
"Beyond inspired by your persistence to champion the underdogs and platform the stories of survivors. Sending you love always! 🤍"
The touching exchange comes after news late last year that the man accused of raping Brittany, Bruce Lehrmann, is set to face trial in June 2022.
He stands accused of sexual intercourse without consent in former defence minister Linda Reynolds' office at Parliament House, after a night out with colleagues including Brittany.
There's no doubt that Lisa will be supporting Brittany as the trial approaches, having shared her own deeply personal experiences with sexual abuse in 2021.
While preparing to release her autobiography, It Wasn't Supposed To Be Like This, in October, Lisa claimed that she had been sexually assaulted by a friend's father as a teen.
Lisa helped Brittany speak out about the abuse she endured while working as a Parliament House staffer. (Instagram)
Having kept the traumatic encounter a secret for decades, she told Stellar magazine that meeting Brittany gave her the courage to finally speak up.
"I thought, if [women] don't come forward and don't show how incredibly common these experiences are, then the perpetrators win. And I couldn't be a party to that," she said.
In her book, Lisa explained that it's important to let survivors decide when they're ready to share their own stories, writing: "Women can only speak when they are ready.
"But there are more women speaking because they now know that they will be believed, they will be heard, and they can seek justice."
If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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  • undefined: Maddison Leach

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