3:04 am - Wednesday November 4, 2015

Actress Kalki Koechlin : I, my close friends were sexually abused as children

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Actress Kalki Koechlin is helping bring the difficult subject of child sexual abuse out in the open by speaking out about being abused herself as a little girl.

Without divulging details of her own experience, the Dev D star told : “The reason you haven’t heard about it is that I don’t like to talk about it. For me, it’s not a one day headline, it’s something that’s a reality I have lived with for a long time. Many of us have gone through it and most of the people that I know, especially close friends of mine who are women, have gone through some form of CSA (child sexual abuse). It’s just so out there, so much of it that I think it’s not something that should be ignored.”

Kalki also made the startling revelation that 53 percent of children in India had been sexually abused and highlighted the gap in proper sexual education in schools. The actress said, “I don’t think 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. The problem is we don’t have these trusted areas to go.”

Kalki urged others who have experienced abuse to speak out but also advised caution. “The problem about talking about it publicly is there’s also the danger, it just becomes a shocking headline and somebody who has gone through CSA is not a headline, that’s a reality they have lived with all of their life,” she said.

Earlier, Kalki spoke at a conference on child sexual abuse organised by actor Rahul Bose’s NGO H.E.A.L. “Rahul Bose is having a conference where he is getting all the NGOs who are working together on child sexual abuse because what happens is everybody is working in their own individual places and they are repeating the same amount of work because they are not able to exchange their experiences,” the actress.

Kalki, who last appeared in 2013’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, has been vocal about women’s issues and starred in a satirical video about violence against women.

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