JK Rowling funds women-only support centre for victims of sexual violence

JK Rowling is funding a new support and counselling service for survivors of sexual violence in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The author, who has written about her own experience as a survivor of sexual assault, is setting up the new centre, called Beira’s Place because she believes there is an “unmet need for women” in the Lothians area.

Ms Rowling said it was important that survivors had the option of women-centred and women-delivered care.

The Harry Potter creator has held a longstanding interest in women’s and children’s issues and has been a vocal critic of the Scottish government’s reform of the Gender Recognition Act. The new venture is being funded by the author, who lives in Edinburgh. It is not a charity and will not rely on donations.

Ms Rowling said: “I founded Beira’s Place to provide what I believe is currently an unmet need for women in the Lothians area.

“As a survivor of sexual assault myself, I know how important it is that survivors have the option of women-centred and women-delivered care at such a vulnerable time.

“Beira’s Place will offer an increase in capacity for services in the area and will, I hope, enable more women to process and recover from their trauma.”

Named after Beira, the Scottish goddess of winter, it will be run by a paid staff of experienced support workers and headed by chief executive Isabelle Kerr and deputy chief executive Susan Domminney.

Rowling has become a figurehead for gender critical feminists, who argue the changes erode hard-won protections for women.