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Celebs Open-Up About Child Sexual Abuse To Say #FreeYourMind

Poorna Jagannathan joins the likes of Anoushka Shankar and Anurag Kashyap who’ve opened up about child sexual abuse

Updated
Entertainment
3 min read
Poorna Jagannathan  produced the play <i>Nirbhaya </i>by Yael Farber based on the Nirbhaya rape case&nbsp;(Photo: Facebook/PoornaJagannathan)

Silence has been the biggest trauma for Delhi Belly actress Poorna Jagannathan, a survivor of sexual abuse since she was 9. She finally opened up about it in a video befittingly titled ‘Breaking the Cycle of Violence’. Poorna joins other celebrities who have previously opened up about having been subjected to abuse as a child. Their courage and boldness remind us all to #FreeYourMind. Read through some of their compelling quotes on it:

Poorna Jagannathan, Actress

When you break silence, you break the cycle of violence. My first encounter with sexual violence was probably when I was 9. There was a neighbour and family friend who got his hands on me. He obviously told me not to tell anyone. I have encountered so many incidents as a child and as a young adult. They were violent but I wouldn’t speak about it. There was a code that you wouldn’t talk about it. I always thought that silence was the best, safest, most acceptable way of coping.
Poorna Jagannathan

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Anoushka Shankar, Sitarist

Anoushka Shankar spoke about being abused as a child while stepping up in support of the <i>One Billion Rising</i> campaign that launched following the Nirbhaya rape case (Photo: Reuters)
Anoushka Shankar spoke about being abused as a child while stepping up in support of the One Billion Rising campaign that launched following the Nirbhaya rape case (Photo: Reuters)

As a child I suffered sexual and emotional abuse for several years at the hands of a man whom my parents trusted implicitly. Growing up like most women I know, I suffered various forms of groping, touching, verbal abuse and other things I didn’t know how to deal with.
Anoushka Shankar

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Kalki Koechlin, Actress

Kalki spoke at a conference addressing&nbsp;child sexual abuse organised by actor Rahul Bose’s NGO H.E.A.L. (Photo: Facebook/KalkiKoechlin)
Kalki spoke at a conference addressing child sexual abuse organised by actor Rahul Bose’s NGO H.E.A.L. (Photo: Facebook/KalkiKoechlin)

Child sexual abuse is a reality I have lived with for a long time and many of my women friends have gone through some form of CSA. It’s just so out there, so much of it that I think it’s not something that should be ignored. I don’t think a public platform is the only way to talk about CSA, I think sometimes it’s important to speak about it, break the silence; other times it’s important to have a place to go to where you can trust somebody whether it be a psychiatrist, a family member, or a social set-up, an organization which helps when you talk about these things.
Kalki Koechlin

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Anurag Kashyap, Filmmaker

Anurag Kashyap spoke during the promotions of <i>I AM</i>; a film where he played the character of a man perpetrating the crime of Child Sexual Abuse. (Photo: Reuters)
Anurag Kashyap spoke during the promotions of I AM; a film where he played the character of a man perpetrating the crime of Child Sexual Abuse. (Photo: Reuters)

I have forgiven the man who abused me. I met him after many years. He wasn’t some dirty old man. He was 22 when he abused me. He was guilt-ridden when we met. I decided to put the whole nightmare behind me and move on. But it wasn’t easy. I came to Mumbai brimming with angst, bitterness and a sense of violation and isolation. Thanks to Kalki, I am completely cured of my acrimony.
Anurag Kashyap

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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