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by Staff reporter
16 January 2024
JK Rowling: Opposition to women-only services has 'dire consequences' for victims

JK Rowling | Alamy

JK Rowling: Opposition to women-only services has 'dire consequences' for victims

JK Rowling has backed a new report which claims women's sector workers who support female-only services are being "silenced".

The research, by the organisation Sex Matters, includes polling which found that the Scottish public "strongly backs single-sex support for women who have been the victims of rape, sexual assault or domestic violence".

As many as 86 per cent of the people polled said women should have access to female-only services.

However, the report, titled Women's Services: A Sector Silenced, found leaders in the sector who advocate for such provision are "routinely subjected to investigations, ostracisation, bullying and employment loss".

The claims are based on interviews with 19 professionals from across the UK who worked for organisations providing services such as rape crisis centres, domestic violence refuges and support for trafficked women.

Interviewees said including male service users and employees could compromise trust amongst women, see some self-exclude and risk re-traumatisation for those affected by violence from men.

Rowling founded women-only sexual violence support project Beira's Place in Edinburgh.

She commented: "Female-only support services can be life-saving for women who've suffered domestic abuse and sexual violence. This report exposes the current silencing of sector leaders and the dire consequences for victims."

A total of 145 people in Scotland were surveyed earlier this month.

Seventy per cent strongly agreed that women who have been the victims of rape, sexual assault or domestic violence should be able to get help in a female-only environment. Another 16 per cent said they tend to agree with the statement.

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