Trans Activists Attack JK Rowling After She Funds New Resource Center for Female Survivors of Sexual Violence

Prolific author JK Rowling is under fire from trans activists after throwing her support behind a new counseling service for female survivors of sexual violence in the Edinburgh area, leading many pro-woman advocates to question the priorities of her detractors.

On December 12, Rowling announced via Twitter that she was funding Beira’s Place, a facility described as being women-led and catering to female survivors of sexual violence. The service will provide support, advocacy, and information to women aged 16 and over.

In an exclusive interview with columnist and women’s rights advocate Suzanne Moore about her new project, Rowling stated that she was driven by her own experience with sexual violence, and had noticed a gap in available resources to provide exclusively woman-centered care.

“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,” Rowling said.

Many on social media celebrated the opening of Beira’s Place, including Vancouver Rape Relief, a Canadian rape crisis shelter that was stripped of Vancouver city funding in 2019 after refusing to change their female-only mandate. The center was vandalized for their sex-based policy, with trans activists nailing a dead rat to the door of the building during the public battle.

“Sisterhood is powerful! Congratulations @beirasplace and @jk_rowling for the new women-only sexual assault support centre for women and girls in Edinburgh and the Lothians,” tweeted Vancouver Rape Relief from their official account.

One Twitter user responded to the Rowling’s announcement, saying: “I’m crying. This is amazing. THIS is what protecting women and being a true feminist looks like. Thank you to @jk_rowling on behalf of #YoungGCFeminists and women everywhere.”

But the response was not uniformly positive, with many trans activists immediately jumping to condemn Rowling for supporting a shelter with a female-only mandate.

Responding to the news, several critics speculated that a policy which excludes men would inevitably result in “masculine-presenting” or “butch” women being turned away.

“Imagine being a slightly masc[uline] presenting cis woman and going to a shelter like that at your worst moment and your greeting is somewhere between the 3rd degree about your birth sex and an actual call to prove it somehow,” said one Twitter user.

“I would love to know what the process is for checking that any woman using this service is definitely not trans, what kinds of checks will you be doing to the already vulnerable sexual/domestic abuse victims? I have major concerns for women’s safety here,” tweeted another.

Multiple trans activists accused Rowling of funding Beira’s Place with the specific intention of “spiting” trans-identified males.

“I think it’s actually quite telling as to the vindictive nature of JK Rowling that’s she’s had the means, resources and power to set up a crisis center for over 20 years, and she’s only decided to do it now so she can use it as some bizarre point scoring against trans victims.”

Yet Rowling has a history of using her substantial wealth to contribute to humanitarian causes. In 2012, she was famously removed from Forbes‘ billionaire list due partly to her hefty charitable contributions. At the time, it was estimated that she had given away approximately $160 million during the course of the year.

Jen Ives, an activist who also identifies as a comedian, mocked the support service and victims of sexual violence in response to Rowling’s announcement.

Ives had previously gone after Rowling during his set at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival earlier this year. However, when the audience failed to laugh at his jokes, a fellow comedian complained that Ives was a victim of “transphobia,” and the audience’s cold response was a “hate crime.”

Another trans activist who uses the moniker ‘Cathy Brennan’ called the opening of Beira’s Place “one of the most sinister moves” he’s seen from “UK transphobes.” Brennan infamously harassed feminist campaigner Julie Bindel after she gave a speech at Edinburgh University in 2019.

As Bindel left the building after giving a speech on male violence against women, Brennan “lunged” at her while calling her derogatory names. Bindel reported that Brennan had attempted to punch her in the face but a security guard pulled him away.

Former TV presenter and Big Brother contestant, Jonathan “India” Willoughby also tweeted in response to the news about Beira’s Place, comparing masculine women to males.

“The whole point of JK Rowling’s new centre is banning women who happen to be trans. But what happens to butch women who could be men?” Willoughby tweeted.

This is not the first time Willoughby has compared masculine women to men. Willoughby has previously said that butch lesbians have effectively “transitioned” and “behave like blokes.”

Willoughby had recently come under fire for racist and sexist comments he made towards broadcaster Esther Krakue, calling her a “talentless bigoted blackwomen [sic]” and a “b*tch.”

But the anti-woman backlash wasn’t isolated to social media.

Earlier today, The Independent published an op-ed from Ryan Coogan, who compared a single-sex rape crisis shelter to opening a “whites-only orphanage,” while LGBT outlet INTO used a graphic featuring JK Rowling and devil heads.

The Times reported that Rape Crisis Scotland has released a statement regarding Beira’s Place stating that while they welcome any new services with “rigorous safeguarding procedures,” they urged the service to be opened to trans-identified males as well.

The CEO of Edinburgh Rape Crisis is a trans-identified male, Mridul Wadhwa. He was hired for the position despite the job advertisement for the role specifying it was open only to women.

Wadhwa came under fire last year for comments he made during a podcast interview in which he stated that “bigoted” sex abuse victims who request female-only support should expect to be “challenged on their prejudices” and told to “reframe their trauma.”

The mixed-sex policy at Edinburgh Rape Crisis in part motivated Rowling to set up Beira’s Place. Rowling said that the single sex service fills an “unmet need for women in the Lothians area.”

Wadhwa’s position as CEO of Rape Crisis has been highly criticized by feminists as he is reportedly still legally male and does not hold a gender recognition certificate. Tensions are currently high in Scotland between trans activists and feminists as SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon aims to push through reforms to the Gender Recognition Act. This will remove all safe guarding requirements to obtaining a GRC such as the need for a gender dysphoria diagnosis.

Ahead of the proposed reforms, For Women Scotland, a feminist campaign group, had petitioned the Scottish government to protect sex in law. But a Scottish judge ruled against them the day after Rowling’s announcement.

“Sex is not limited to biological or birth sex, but includes those in possession of a [Gender Recognition Certificate] obtained in accordance with the 2004 Act stating their acquired gender, and thus their sex,” the Judgement handed down on December 13 read.

The verdict means that a male who holds a legal document indicating a gender change should be treated as a “female” across the board in all areas of law. This has concerned women’s rights advocates as Gender Recognition Certificates will soon be available to almost any applicant, with very limited requirements.

Rowling has become a target for abuse since first speaking out against gender identity ideology in December of 2019. Rowling had tweeted in support of Maya Forstater, a researcher who was involved in a high-profile tribunal case after her employer did not renew her contract on the basis of her belief that biological sex cannot be changed and is relevant to public policies. Rowling then went on to publish a detailed essay in 2020 outlining her concerns with gender ideology.

The celebrated children’s author has since refused to back down to the trans activist mob and has continued to use her platform to spread awareness about how gender ideology impacts the rights and safety of women and girls. This has led to her receiving countless death threats over the years. Several trans activists even picketed her home before posting her address online last November.

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Shay Woulahan

Shay is a writer and social media content creator for Reduxx. She is a proud lesbian activist and feminist who lives in Northern Ireland with her partner and their four-legged, fluffy friends.

Shay Woulahan
Shay Woulahan
Shay is a writer and social media content creator for Reduxx. She is a proud lesbian activist and feminist who lives in Northern Ireland with her partner and their four-legged, fluffy friends.