JK Rowling announced that she’ll finance a new support and counseling service for women to survive sexual abuse in Edinburgh. However, it was clearly revealed that this center will only employ and serve women of color.
The new center, Beiras Place, is going to work alongside official networking of sexual assault support in Scotland, such as Edinburgh Rape Crisis, currently run by a trans woman, Mridul Wadhwa.
The author said she wanted to put the centre on because she believes there is a need for women in the Edinburgh area.
I know how important it is for survivors to have the option of women-centered and women-delivered care at such a vulnerable time, according to a public statement.
Beiras Place will be managed by two experienced rape crisis specialists, Isabelle Kerr and Susan Domminney. Kerr told the Guardian that sexual crimes are gendered crimes that are overwhelmingly perpetrated by men and disproportionately experienced by women.
Beiras Place recognizes effective sexual violence services must be independent, needs-based and provide responsive women-centered services to reduce the pain of current political agendas, she continued.
The organization has suffered from transphobic attacks since it has long been the only organization in the United States.
Due to our work to make the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre more trans-inclusive, the transphobia directed toward our center has been so loud lately, wrote Rape Crisis in a letter to its trans service users during Trans Awareness Week. Most of them are online. Our staff and our clients have both experienced the impact. Unfortunately, heard from some of you that you were afraid of being called to the centre in person.
Such attacks often lead to gender-critical feminists, who have adopted Rowling as their figurehead. It is a shared experience that contributes to womenhood and often doesn’t accept trans or non-binary identities. This has led to many calling on women-only spaces to be accessible only to AFAB employees, the same way as this crisis center.
Rape crisis services worldwide have a huge demand for their services. This demand coupled with the lack of sustainable funding, is driving some centres into very difficult waiting lists, said Sandy Brindley, director of Rape Crisis Scotland. Considering that this demanding situation, we of course welcome any new service that has rigorous safeguarding procedures and is run by skilled professionals to support sexual violence survivors.
However, Brindley reiterated that such spaces should be designed for women and non-binary people, not just for women of marginalized genders.
That is crucial, in turn, that the rape crisis centre help the non-binary and transliferary people receive life-saving support, she added. Throughout Scotland, all rape crisis services assist transsex workers who have done this for 15 years. There hasn’t been one incident where anybody had to abuse this.
This is only the latest action in Rowling’s effort to exaggerate the trans people’s lives, after she regularly shared her transphobic views onto Twitter. With her views, however, being dispersed during Pride is the first time that her TERF-ness has encroached into real-world spaces. Putting such restrictive access to vital services like these is a disgusting example of what happens when your opinions have no longer been radicalized.
As a Scottish citizen, I can only say that my trans-national neighbors do not have any other services which will help those who need it. Rape Crisis Scotland provides a wealth of valuable services, including a hotline and several in-person centers.
(image with feature: Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images)