In the past, the "Harry Potter" author came under criticism for transphobic statements. Now Joanne K. Rowling wants to help women - and only women - who have experienced violence or abuse with "Beira's Place". The name of the organization has a special meaning.
"Harry Potter" author Joanne K. Rowling has founded an aid organization for victims of sexual violence. Beira's Place is a response to the high demand from women for all-female support, the writer said. The free help is aimed at all women in the Edinburgh area who have experienced sexual violence or abuse.
"I started Beira's Place to serve what I feel is an unmet need for women in the Lothian region," said the 57-year-old. "As a survivor of sexual assault, I know how important it is for survivors to have the opportunity for women-centered and women-provided care at such a difficult time."
The organization is named after the Scottish goddess of winter, Beira. "Beira reigns over the dark half of the year and hands over to her sister Bride when summer returns," Rowling said. "Beira stands for female wisdom, strength and regeneration."
According to Forbes magazine, Rowling is currently the highest paid writer in the world behind James Patterson. Most recently, she had repeatedly attracted attention with statements that activists took to be hostile to trans people. For example, she criticized a planned change in the law in Scotland that would allow trans people to change their gender entry without a medical certificate. The application period for this should also be significantly reduced. Trans people or transgender people are people who do not feel they belong to the gender they were assigned at birth.