In a new interview with The Sunday Times, J. K. Rowling discusses how seeing images of children in cages in the newspaper in 2004 led her to take action.
JK Rowling was reading The Sunday Times one weekend in 2004 when she came across a picture of a child looking distressed, perhaps screaming. She doesn’t think she registered immediately that he was caged. Revulsion made her turn the page — then a sense of shame made her turn back. If the story was half as bad as the picture, she told herself, she would have to do something about it.
After reading about the caged boy, Rowling ripped the page from [t>he Sunday Times. Next day she photocopied it 50 times and wrote letters to anyone she thought could help: Scottish MEPs, the Czech ambassador to Britain, the Czech prime minister. She talked to Baroness Emma Nicholson, who had set up a charity in Romania, where children’s homes ‘were like Hieronymus Bosch’s vision of hell’, and accepted her invitation to the launch of a lobbying group in Bucharest. Then she took her husband, Neil, a doctor, for a long walk.