JK Rowling says she survived sexual abuse and domestic violence | News | DW | 10.06.2020
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JK Rowling says she survived sexual abuse and domestic violence

The Harry Potter author published a blog post speaking about her past of domestic violence and sexual assault. It came in response to a recent controversy where she was criticized for a trans-exclusionary tweet.

Author JK Rowling revealed in a blog post on Wednesday that she has been a victim of sexual assault and domestic violence. 

The writer behind the popular Harry Potter series has recently been part of controversy for her latest comments on 'people who menstruate,' where she was accused of being transphobic and trans-exclusionary. 

Her comments drew criticism, including from actor Daniel Radcliffe, who played the protagonist in the movie adaptations of the Harry Potter series.

In her blog post, Rowling defended her right to speak about trans issues, and spoke about her history of sexual abuse in an attempt to put context to her previous comments.

"I've only mentioned my past because, like every other human being on this planet, I have a complex backstory, which shapes my fears, my interests and my opinions," she said. 

Struggles with gender identity

She also said that she had struggled with her own gender identity in her youth.

"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, " she said.

Rowling also stated she believes that due to recent trans activism, many young people go through gender reassignment surgery without giving it sufficient thought.

Read more: Male or female - is our sex always clearly defined?

"I know transition will be a solution for some gender dysphoric people, although I'm also aware through extensive research that studies have consistently shown that between 60-90% of gender dysphoric teens will grow out of their dysphoria," she said.

Studies have shown that children often grow out of gender dysphoria, however if the dysphoria continues into adolesence it is much more likely to persist for life.

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Not backing down

While emphasizing safety and basic rights for transgenders, she also said that she had been disproportionately targeted by trans activists.

She wrote, "I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it."

This is not the first time the author has been criticized over this issue. In 2018, Rowling faced flak for liking a tweet that called trans women "men in dresses."

Last year, she had spoken out in support of Maya Forstater, who lost her job at a think tank after saying that men could not change into women.

tg/aw (AFP, Reuters)

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