JK Rowling donates £1 million to charity to protect vulnerable during coronavirus pandemic

The author has dug deep (Picture: Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)

JK Rowling is donating £1 million to charity to help the most vulnerable in society during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Harry Potter author usually marks the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts – the showdown between Harry and the Hogwarts students and Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters in the final book, The Deathly Hallows – on 2 May each year.

However, she decided it would be ‘inappropriate’ to discuss the fictional deaths that occurred in the Harry Potter books while the country is in crisis.

The 54-year-old tweeted: ‘Today’s the 22nd anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, but I’m going to be honest and say that it feels inappropriate to talk about fictional deaths today. Too many people are losing loved ones in the real world.

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‘So on this anniversary of a great wizarding victory, I’m thinking of the people who’re out there doing their jobs to protect us and our way of life. I have 3 key workers in my immediate family, and like all such relatives, I’m torn between pride and anxiety.’

The author – believed to be worth £700 million – went on to confirm she would be making a donation to Crisis and Refuge, to help the homeless and victims of domestic abuse.

Today’s the 22nd anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, but I’m going to be honest and say that it feels inappropriate to talk about fictional deaths today. Too many people are losing loved ones in the real world. 1/4

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 2, 2020

Rowling wrote: ‘As ever in a crisis of this sort, the poorest and most vulnerable are hit hardest, so in honour of the Battle of Hogwarts, I’ll be making a donation of £1m, half of which will go to https://crisis.org.uk, who’re helping the homeless during the pandemic, and half of which will go to https://refuge.org.uk, because we know that domestic abuse has, sadly, increased hugely during the lockdown.’

Chief executive of Refuge Sandra Horley CBE stated that domestic abuse could potentially increase during lockdown, with people spending more time at home with their abusers.

A statement read: ‘1.6 million women experienced domestic abuse last year, and self-isolation has the potential to aggravate pre-existing abusive behaviours by perpetrators.

‘While in lockdown or self-isolation, women and children are likely to be spending concentrated periods of time with perpetrators, potentially escalating the threat of domestic abuse and further restricting their freedom.

Rowling was marking the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts (Picture: Getty)

‘Domestic abuse isn’t always physical – it’s a pattern of controlling, threatening and coercive behaviour, which can also be emotional, economic, psychological or sexual. Abuse is a choice a perpetrator makes, and isolation is already used by many perpetrators as a tool of control.

‘In the current climate, it is certainly more challenging for women suffering abuse. Lines of communication could be severely limited if women are unable to leave the home.’

Rowling had been ‘reminded’ by a fan on 1 May that the Battle of Hogwarts was coming up, to which she responded with a shout-out to the birthday of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour’s daughter – who was called Victoire, French for victory, because of the day her birth fell on.

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The writer – who lost her billionaire status due to her charity donations – tweeted: ‘Also Victoire Weasley-née- Delacour’s birthday, but that gets overshadowed. I feel bad for her. The wizarding equivalent of being born on Christmas Day and christened Holly.’

The creator of the wizarding world of Harry Potter has been active on social media during lockdown, responding to fan art and also launching Harry Potter At Home to keep kids entertained.

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