Author J.K. Rowling faced renewed accusations of transphobia Monday after launching a women-only service for sexual-abuse victims in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The service, Beira’s Place, provides a “trauma informed service” for victims of sexual abuse and violence, the website reads. In an interview with journalist Suzanne Moore, Rowling emphasized the importance of having “woman-centered and woman-delivered care” for those suffering trauma from sexual abuse.
“Beira’s Place has been set up in response to demand from female survivors for a women-only service, as one is currently not available in the area,” the website reads. “Beira’s Place is a women only service. It has been set up by women, for women. This means that if you contact us, the first person you speak to will be a woman, any support you receive will be from a woman and you can be guaranteed that when you visit our centre everyone in the building will be women.”
The author of the “Harry Potter” series launched the service days before Scotland’s gender recognition bill, which would make it easier for people to legally change their gender, reaches a final vote in the Scottish Parliament, the Independent reported. In October, a British hospital refused to operate on a female sex abuse victim who requested to be treated by biologically female nurses.
I spoke to Suzanne Moore about feminism, filters and a new support centre for female survivors of sexual violence in Edinburgh and the Lothians.https://t.co/32JZurdOZm
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 12, 2022
LGBTQ activists immediately rushed to accuse Rowling and her women-only service of bigotry against transgender people.
“JK Rowling opening a crisis centre that specifically excludes trans women… it’s all downhill from here,” one user tweeted. “Beira’s Place will not be a safe space for survivors. JK Rowling’s agenda will not just exclude trans women, but any women who ‘look’ trans, women who can’t prove their gender identity, AND because they’re excluding trans women on the basis that they might be attracted to women-and they’re keeping that whole group out because of what they MIGHT do, any non-straight women, who are not trans, are also at risk of exclusion.”
“Bi women are the most likely demo to be abused, and they risk being kicked out of Beira’s Place because they are attracted to women,” the user continued.
Another user wrote, “A woman comes to Beira’s Place and she’s been raped. She is lost, she’s barely able to keep herself together due to the horrendous violence inflicted upon her, she’s alone, and she’s in desperate need of support. She’s also a trans woman. Does Beira’s Place help her?” (RELATED: School Changes Name Over J.K. Rowling’s Trans Comments)
“Does it offer services to trans women who have suffered male violence?” another wrote, according to The Independent. “If so… Rowling admits trans women are women. If not… she’s discriminating and can be sued.” The website for Beira’s Place does not explicitly state whether trans women can access its services.
Rowling has faced backlash from LGBTQ activists and Hollywood actors for her defense of biological sex. In 2021, she defended a researcher who lost her job after saying that “men cannot change into women.”
“Dress however you please,” Rowling tweeted. “Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?”
She later faced additional criticism for criticizing an article headlined “Creating a more equal post COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”
“People who menstruate. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” Rowling tweeted.