Womans lawyer says many alleged victims are put off coming forward for fear of being dragged through a scandal
The identity of an alleged victim of sexual harassment by former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce was revealed by the Weekend Australian against her wishes, the womans lawyer has said.
On Saturday, the woman again requested her privacy be protected and released a statement in which she stressed that she never intended for the issue to become public.
She said she had submitted the complaint directly to the federal executive of the National party to prevent this type of inappropriate behaviour towards women in the future.
This complaint was not made solely to address the incident against me it is about speaking up against inappropriate behaviour by people in powerful positions.
On Saturday, the Australian newspaper published a front-page story identifying the woman by name, along with her picture and details of her career. Her sexual harassment complaint to the National party emerged on Thursday night and contributed to Joyces resignation as party leader and deputy prime minister.
In his farewell speech on Friday, Joyce said the complaint had contributed to his decision to step down. Its quite evident that you cant go to the dispatch box with issues like that surrounding you, he said.
Her identification came despite the womans lawyer telling news outlets before publication of Saturdays report that the complaint itself becoming public was the last thing my client wanted.
Her lawyer was quoted as saying by the Australian: What prevents a lot of people in circumstances like this [from coming forward] is the repercussions of being dragged through a scandal.
According to the Australian press councils general principles, journalists must avoid intruding on a persons reasonable expectations of privacy, unless doing so is sufficiently in the public interest. The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliances journalist code of ethics also says reporters must respect personal privacy.
On Friday, the ABC reported that the woman had raised the complaint directly with the National party and had intended to keep the complaint within the partys procedures.
She said the complaint was of a serious nature and that the woman was still prepared to stand by her claims.
The lawyer told Guardian Australia the Australians identification of her client was against her wishes and that she had not given the authors permission to identify her. Subsequently, her name was also reported by the Australian Associated Press and other outlets.
Helen Trinca, the Australians managing editor, said: The Australian stands by its decision to report to the fullest extent that is reasonable in a matter involving the then deputy prime minister, and in which openness and transparency is overwhelmingly in the public interest.
News of the womans complaint was initially reported on Friday by Sydneys Daily Telegraph. The Nationals federal president, Larry Anthony, confirmed that a formal complaint of sexual harassment had been received against Joyce earlier in the week. All complaints are taken seriously and treated with strict confidentiality and given due process, he said.
Joyce said the claim was spurious and defamatory and said he had asked for it to be referred to the police.