A Greens senator has spoken out about the sexual harassment she's experienced from other politicians since entering Federal Parliament, accusing senators and MPs of acting as though they are above the law.
In one example, Victorian Senator Lidia Thorpe said a male MP, standing outside her office, had looked her up and down and said "I want to take you out for dinner".
She said the man, who she declined to name, subsequently called her office repeatedly to ask her why she hadn't accepted the invitation.
Senator Thorpe has not ruled out naming the men under parliamentary privilege, although she admitted the thought of it made her feel sick.
She has decided to speak out after the sexism crisis engulfing Parliament House deepened on Monday night, with reports a government staffer filmed himself performing a "solo sex act" on the desk of a female parliamentarian before sharing it in a group chat.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was shocked, disgusted and appalled by the behaviour, as he conceded Parliament House "must get its house in order".
Speaking from inside her office on Tuesday morning, Senator Thorpe revealed she had been harassed by four parliamentarians - two senators and two MPs - since she entered parliament in September.
She said the harassment included "suggestive" remarks, comments about how she dressed or "what she had in her mouth". In one example, a fellow senator had put his arm around her while walking into the chamber for question time.
There was one senator, she said, who would deliberately walk behind her in the corridors.
Senator Thorpe said she was so afraid of being alone after estimates hearings ended late on Monday night that she phoned her partner back in Melbourne so he could help "walk me to my office".
Describing the various acts as "brazen", Senator Thorpe said some parliamentarians "believe they have so much power that they are above the law and they can do whatever they like".
"It is just about power," she said.
"These people don't care; they don't care what is being said in the media. It is not affecting how they think or affecting their behaviour. This particular person is also a bully so there is also a bit of a fear factor there as well. He couldn't care less."
Senator Thorpe said in the absence of a code of conduct for politicians, there were no real repercussions for misbehaviour. That had the affecting of silencing victims, she said.
"I expect this kind of behaviour in a nightclub, not in my workplace. I'm surprised that people who have been here for a long time feel like they have permission to say and do what they like to women in this place."
Despite the toll it has taken on her, Senator Thorpe said the harassment had strengthened, not weakened, her desire to continue in politics.
"It makes me more determined to continue the fight for justice and continue the fight for women's rights in this country," she said.
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