JK Rowling opens new sexual violence help service for ladies in Edinburgh

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Creator and philanthropist J.Okay. Rowling has opened a brand new sexual violence help service for ladies in Edinburgh.

Beira’s Place, named after the Scottish goddess of winter, will supply help and advocacy to girls within the Lothian area, aged 16 and over, who’ve skilled sexual violence or abuse at any time of their lives.

The service has been launched to comply with the international 16 Days Marketing campaign for the elimination of violence in opposition to girls. It’s free and has been arrange in response to demand from feminine survivors for a women-only service.

L to R: Susan Smith, J.Okay. Rowling, Johann Lamont, Margaret McCartney, Rhona Hotchkiss. Image, Nicole Jones

She stated: “As a survivor of sexual assault myself, I understand how necessary it’s that survivors have the choice of women-centred and women-delivered care at such a susceptible time. Beira’s Place will supply an improve in capability for companies in the world and can, I hope, allow extra girls to course of and get well from their trauma.”

Beira’s Place’s chief govt Isabelle Kerr joined one among Scotland’s first rape disaster centres in 1982 as a volunteer, and was a founding member of Aberdeen Rape Disaster.

She managed Glasgow and Clyde Rape Disaster for 15 years till 2021. She can be supported at the brand new facility by deputy chief govt Sue Domminney, who has labored within the voluntary sector for greater than 30 years, as nicely as a workforce of skilled help staff.

Ms Kerr stated Beira’s Place would offer women-centred companies. She stated: “Violence in opposition to girls and women is an situation that crosses all cultures, lessons and religions. These are gendered crimes which might be overwhelmingly perpetrated by males and disproportionately skilled by girls.

“Beira’s Place recognises that efficient sexual violence companies have to be impartial, needs-led and supply responsive, women-centred companies so that they’re free from the stress of present political agendas. We’re dedicated to making certain that our service is free, confidential and accessible to girls survivors who may have it.”

Rowling can be joined on the board of Beira’s Place by a number of of Scotland’s most distinguished girls’s rights campaigners. They embrace Rhona Hotchkiss, a former governor of Cornton Vale girls’s jail; Johann Lamont, who was Scottish Labour chief from 2011 to 2014; Dr Margaret McCartney, a GP, tutorial and broadcaster, and Susan Smith, a director of marketing campaign group For Ladies Scotland.

Rowling defined why the board selected the identify Beira (pronounced By-ra), saying: “Beira guidelines over the darkish a part of the 12 months, handing over to her sister, Bride, when summer season comes once more.

“Beira represents feminine knowledge, energy, and regeneration. Hers is a power that endures through the tough instances, however her fable comprises the promise that they’ll not final without end.”

Beira’s Place, which is positioned in central Edinburgh, will open for confidential off-site assessments and appointments in the brand new 12 months. Particulars of how survivors of sexual violence can entry the service are on the web site: www.beirasplace.org.uk.

The launch comes days earlier than subsequent week’s ultimate vote on the Scottish Authorities’s plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act, of which Ms Rowling has been an outspoken critic.

The Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Invoice, proposes to take away the requirement for a medical analysis of gender dysphoria as a situation of buying a gender recognition certificates.

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