James Ashby alleges that Peter Slipper, Speaker, sexually harassed him.

The Commonwealth has settled its case with Mr Ashby for $50,000 and a pledge to provide training for MPs and parliamentary staff to prevent sexual harassment.

It is a little confusing as to why the Commonwealth, and in effect the tax payer, is paying Mr Ashby and not Mr Slipper himself. If Mr Slipper committed the crime he should pay Mr Ashby compensation. If he did not commit the crime then the public should not be expected to pay this money.

If a person is a victim of crime they are able to access financial compensation through State Crime Compensation Schemes as well as through the assailant. The cash amount of pain and suffering in Victoria is $10,000.00 for sexual crimes. The commonwealth has given Mr Ashby $50.000.00.

In order to access Crime Compensation one needs to report a crime to the police and in order to access compensation from the assailant one needs to lodge a common law claim. Neither appear to have been done in this instance.

The correct procedure in such instances of sexual crimes is for the police to investigate and to lay charged where appropriate.

At the moment there is a government investigation into the alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the church and another in the military and we don’t need a third investigation.

For victims of crime support and advice call 1800 000 055 or go to www.victimsofcrime.com.au


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