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J.K. Rowling Funds Sex Abuse Crisis Center That Excludes Trans Women

JK Rowling

The author's crisis center excludes trans women as both employees and service users.

J.K. Rowling is being slammed for launching a crisis center for survivors of rape and sexual assault in Scotland that refuses services to trans women and excludes trans workers from the center.

Named Beira's Place, after the Scottish goddess of winter, the center sits in a former townhouse and calls itself "Edinburgh women's sexual assault support centre."

Rowling was interviewed by anti-trans journalist Suzanne Moore about the opening of Beira's Place and its position in the landscape -- centered by Rowling's anti-transgender rights views, PinkNewsreports.

The area where the center is located is underserved, so another crisis center is helpful, but as Moore hints, the creation of the trans-exclusive space seems to be driven by the inclusion the existing Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre extends to all women and LGBTQ+ people by having gender-neutral bathrooms.

As the Edinburgh facility later stated in a now-protected tweet, "For those enquiring about the toilet facilities at ERCC, we have one individual disabled access bathroom on our ground floor, and two individual bathrooms on our 2nd floor.

"The signs on each of these 3 bathrooms are all gender neutral in line with our commitment to being LGBT+ inclusive."

As reported by PinkNews, during Trans Awareness Week, the center sent a letter to its transgender users, saying, "Because of our work to make Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre more trans-inclusive, the transphobia directed at our centre has been very loud lately. Though the threats are mainly online, the impact has been felt by both our staff and our clients. Sadly, we're hearing from some of you that you're afraid to come to the centre in person."

The letter continued, "We want you to know that every part of you is welcome here. In a trans-prejudiced world, we know that many of you are not safe and able to express your gender how you'd like. Whatever your gender expression and however you present, you'll never be asked to disclose your gender history, or to justify your right to our support. We're here for you."

Beira's Place will not only not work with trans women who have survived rape and sexual assaults, but the group won't hire them either.

"Beira's Place is a women-only service. Section 212 of the Equality Act 2010 defines a woman as a 'female of any age' and Beira's Place services are for women aged 16 and over. The service is offered in accordance with the Equality Act 2010, which permits the provision of single sex services and a single sex staffing policy in various situations where there's a good reason for them," the organization told PinkNews. "Many women subjected to men's violence feel safer and fare better in women-only spaces, and wish to have support sessions with females only, and we exist to meet that need. We believe that women deserve to have certainty that, in using our services, they will not encounter anyone who is male.

The transphobic response continued, "Where appropriate, we will refer we will refer men or individuals identifying as trans women to other appropriate services in the area, of which there are several."

The group doesn't mention how it will screen trans women from its services or even its hiring process.

"It is crucial that the life-saving support offered by rape crisis centres is available to trans and non-binary people," Rape Crisis Scotland told the outlet. "All rape crisis services in Scotland offer support to trans women and have done so for 15 years. There has not been a single incident of anyone abusing this.

"We continue to see the paths to equality for women and trans people are being deeply interconnected and dependent on shared efforts to dismantle systems of discrimination."

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