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JK Rowling pens essay revealing her history domestic abuse and sexual assault

British writer JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series of books.

JK Rowling pens essay revealing her history domestic abuse and sexual assault

JK Rowling has responded to critics by penning a lengthy, personal essay.

JK Rowling pens essay revealing her history domestic abuse and sexual assault

After facing criticism for her commentary on transgender issues, the author of Harry Potter, JK Rowling has opened up about her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault in a lengthy essay.

A number of celebrities including Daniel Radcliffe, Eddie Redmayne, Jameela Jamil, Sarah Paulson and Johnathan Van Ness have openly criticised a series of messages that Rowling tweeted over the weekend for being transphobic. One Tweet read: “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives.”

In the 3,600-word essay, which was published on Rowling’s website on Wednesday, the author reveals why she has decided to speak out on sex and gender issues. “This isn’t an easy piece to write, for reasons that will shortly become clear, but I know it’s time to explain myself on an issue surrounded by toxicity. I write this without any desire to add to that toxicity,” the statement begins.

As well advocating for freedom of speech within the essay, the author reveals that she is “a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor.”

“I’ve been in the public eye now for over twenty years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor. This isn’t because I’m ashamed those things happened to me, but because they’re traumatic to revisit and remember. I also feel protective of my daughter from my first marriage,” Rowling writes.

“I’m mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces,” she continues.

Within the personal essay, Rowling also details her concern that misogyny and sexism could be driving the 4400% increase over the last decade in the number of girls being referred for transitioning treatment. While the author acknowledges that transitioning is a solution for many suffering from gender-dysphoria, she reflects on her own struggles with mental health and addresses concerns with “the huge explosion in young women wishing to transition and also about the increasing numbers who seem to be transitioning.”

“As I didn’t have a realistic possibility of becoming a man back in the 1980s, it had to be books and music that got me through both my mental health issues and the sexualised scrutiny and judgement that sets so many girls to war against their bodies in their teens. Fortunately for me, I found my own sense of otherness, and my ambivalence about being a woman, reflected in the work of female writers and musicians who reassured me that, in spite of everything a sexist world tries to throw at the female-bodied, it’s fine not to feel pink, frilly and compliant inside your own head; it’s OK to feel confused, dark, both sexual and non-sexual, unsure of what or who you are,” she writes.

You can read the essay in its entirety right here.


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