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Poorna Jagannathan opens up about sexual abuse

Poorna Jagannathan, actress, producer and daughter of a diplomat, has shared her horrific experiences of sexual abuse as a child and as a young adult.

Poorna Jagannathan
Poorna Jagannathan

In a video, which is part of a series shot for a project with the World Bank, WEvolve, the "Delhi Belly" actress gave an emotional and powerful speech about how she had to deal with an alcoholic father and later suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a family friend at the age of 9.

"My childhood was bit of a roller-coaster, it was a very privileged childhood, very fairy tale childhood, many aspects especially on paper. My father suffered from alcoholism. We were told to keep situation under the wraps as mush as possible," Poorna said in the video.

"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 situation 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," the actress said adding that travelling in a bus in Delhi was a horror ride as a girl.

Besides her movie roles, Poorna is also best known for initiating and producing the play "Nirbhaya" by Yael Farber which won the 2013 Amnesty International Award.

Actresses like Kalki Kaoechlin and more recently Deepika Padukone and Somy Ali have spoken about sexual violence.

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