J.K. Rowling Is A Sexual Assault Survivor: "I Suffered In My Twenties Recurred On A Loop"

J.K. Rowling Is A Sexual Assault Survivor: "I Suffered In My Twenties Recurred On A Loop"

Responding to the accusations of being transphobic and a TERF, Rowling spoke out about being sexually assaulted in a 3,663-word essay.

Image Source: Facebook/J.K. Rowling

Famed author J.K. Rowling has opened up about being sexually assaulted in her twenties, as she finally responded to the accusations of being transphobic. "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," wrote the Harry Potter author in a 3,663-word essay posted on her personal website on Wednesday. In the piece titled 'J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues,' she described her first marriage to Portuguese journalism student Jorge Arantas as 'violent,' although she did not identify him. 


Rowling also added a subheading warning the readers that her words might not be suitable for children. Explaining the reason why she didn't speak out about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor sooner, she wrote, "I also feel protective of my daughter from my first marriage. I didn’t want to claim sole ownership of a story that belongs to her, too. However, a short while ago, I asked her how she’d feel if I were publicly honest about that part of my life, and she encouraged me to go ahead."


The revelation comes in response to the ongoing dispute about her comments about transgender people. The 54-year-old author was subjected to "relentless attacks" after she posted her views about "people who menstruate" on Twitter. On June 7 she wrote: 'People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud? This immediately enraged Twitterati and even Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe broke their silence and addressed her remark. Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are, expressed Watson in a Twitter post. 


I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are, she added in a follow-up post. In a previous statement Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe too released a statement. "Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I," he wrote in a post published by The Trevor Project.


In her lengthy essay, Rowling noted that she wasn't revealing the truth about her past 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 goes on to reveal, "I managed to escape my first violent marriage with some difficulty, but I’m now married to a truly good and principled man, safe and secure in ways I never in a million years expected to be. However, the scars left by violence and sexual assault don’t disappear, no matter how loved you are, and no matter how much money you’ve made."


"On Saturday morning, I read that the Scottish government is proceeding with its controversial gender recognition plans, which will in effect mean that all a man needs to ‘become a woman’ is to say he’s one. To use a very contemporary word, I was ‘triggered,'" she continued referring to her controversial tweet on Saturday. "Ground down by the relentless attacks from trans activists on social media, when I was only there to give children feedback about pictures they’d drawn for my book under lockdown, I spent much of Saturday in a very dark place inside my head, as memories of a serious sexual assault I suffered in my twenties recurred on a loop. That assault happened at a time and in a space where I was vulnerable, and a man capitalised on an opportunity.  I couldn’t shut out those memories and I was finding it hard to contain my anger and disappointment about the way I believe my government is playing fast and loose with womens and girls’ safety."

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