Queensland MP says she was drugged and sexually assaulted on night out in her constituency

Assistant health minister says she was assaulted on night out in her constituency of Yeppoon

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Sunday 05 May 2024 15:38 BST
Queensland MP Brittany Lauga said she was drugged and sexually assaulted
Queensland MP Brittany Lauga said she was drugged and sexually assaulted (Screengrab/ 7NEWS Australia)

Police in Australia have launched an investigation after Queensland MP Brittany Lauga claimed she was drugged and sexually assaulted.

The assistant health minister said she was assaulted on a night out in her constituency of Yeppoon, central Queensland.

Ms Lauga, 37, posted a statement on social media, saying she went to the police and the hospital on the morning of 28 April following the incident.

“Tests at the hospital confirmed the presence of drugs in my body which I did not take. This substance impacted me significantly. A police investigation is under way,” she said.

Ms Lauga said since the attack she had been contacted by other women who alleged they were also drugged on the same night.

“This could have happened to anyone and tragically, it does happen to many of us,” she said.

“It’s not OK. We should be able to enjoy socialising in our town without the risk of being drugged or assaulted.”

Queensland Police are investigating a sexual assault complaint regarding an incident in Yeppoon, the force confirmed in a statement to Australia Associated Press.

Officers are “aware of claims of similar incidents”, the force said, urging anyone who has had their drink spiked or experienced something similar to report to the authorities.

Ms Lauga said she would take “time to physically and emotionally heal” and asked for privacy while they sought necessary support.

“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me in support. I truly value your thoughtful messages, gestures and kindness.”

Ms Lauga has been a member of parliament for nearly 10 years since first being elected to the seat of Keppel in 2015.

Queensland premier Steven Miles said he has extended his support to Ms Lauga. “No one should have to go through what Brittany is going through,” he said in a statement.

“My sole focus is on Brittany and her wellbeing. I’ve told Brittany that we’re here to support her, whatever she needs.”

Queensland housing minister Meaghan Scanlon called the allegations “horrifying”.

“Brittany is a colleague, she is a friend, she is a young woman in the Queensland parliament and these are really shocking things to read,” Ms Scanlon said.

“It is unacceptable that women are disproportionately the victims of domestic, family and sexual violence. Our government is going to continue to do everything we can to protect women and stop violence from occurring.”

There has been a recent spate of gender-based violence in Australia, prompting prime minister Anthony Albanese to brand domestic violence a “national crisis”.

Last month, six people, five of them women, were stabbed to death by Joel Cuachi at a Sydney shopping centre. The New South Wales police said that it was “obvious” that the suspect focused on attacking women.

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