J. K. Rowling donates to victims of domestic violence and the homeless

 J. K. Rowling.
J. K. Rowling.

LONDON • Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling has donated £1 million (S$1.76 million) to help victims of domestic abuse and homelessness during the coronavirus pandemic after recovering from the virus herself.

The British writer said the money would be split between the charities Crisis and Refuge, which help the homeless and victims of domestic violence respectively.

"As ever in a crisis of this sort, the poorest and most vulnerable are hit hardest," she wrote on Twitter.

The donation comes a month after 54-year-old Rowling - who is married to a doctor - said she had recovered from a suspected case of Covid-19 after two weeks of illness.

She said she had three key workers in her immediate family and was torn between "pride and anxiety".

Rowling's contribution marked the latest celebrity donation to relief efforts as the pandemic ravages the world's most vulnerable communities, with the United Nations describing rising domestic violence as a growing "shadow pandemic".

Last month, pop singer Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation joined forces with Jay-Z's Shawn Carter Foundation and Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey to donate US$6.2 million (S$8.8 million) to 11 organisations, including some helping victims of domestic abuse and the homeless.

The Crisis and Refuge charities welcomed Rowling's donations.

Refuge said the donation came at a time when it had seen calls to "our already overwhelmed helpline increase by 50 per cent during Covid-19".

Domestic violence has risen globally as many countries imposed tougher restrictions on people leaving their homes.

Lawmakers in Britain have called for urgent action to tackle soaring domestic violence, warning that failure to intervene could have "devastating consequences for a generation".

Police in London have reported making 100 arrests a day for domestic abuse - with a 24 per cent increase in charges and warnings issued.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2020, with the headline 'J. K. Rowling donates to victims of domestic violence and the homeless'. Print Edition | Subscribe