Thanks Kalki Koechlin! The actor speaks again about being sexually abused as a child
Humans of Bombay, a Facebook page modelled on the Humans of New York, put out a post on Thursday where Kalki Koechlin speaks about love and the importance of parents talking about sex to children in a way the latter can shield themselves from abusers. In course of the account, she reveals that she was sexually abused as a 9-year-old.
She says, "The reason i spoke out about my sexual abuse is not to get people to feel sorry for me but to give others who have had similar circumstances the confidence to talk about it. I allowed someone to have sex with me at the age of nine, not understanding fully what it meant and my biggest fear after was that my mother would find out. I felt it was my mistake and so I kept it hidden for years. If I had had the confidence or awareness to confide in my parents it would have saved me years of complexes about my own sexuality. It's important that parents remove the taboo around the word sex or private parts so kids can speak openly and be saved from potential abuse."
It should be noted here that this is not the first time that Koechlin has spoken against sexual abuse and talked about being sexually abused as a child. In a long interview to NDTV a year ago, Koechlin had revealed that she and her friend were sexually abused as children. In fact, Koechlin was the only celebrity who participated in All Indian Conference for Child Sexual Abuse, that was organised in April last year under the leadership of Rahul Bose. It was then that she had first revealed that she had been abused sexually as a child and said that she knew several people who had undergone some form of sexual abuse as children.
She had said back then, "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. For me it's an important issue and I wanted to talk about it. It is not about giving you my history as a person who has gone through sexual abuse but to put forward the idea. So 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). So it's just so out there, so much of it that I think it's not something that should be ignored. Right now 53% of the nation is going through CSA that's more than half the country and that's only the official statistic."
Koechlin's confession comes close on the heels of another actress Poorna Jagannathan revealing that she had been sexually abused as a child.
With her confession Koechlin perhaps joins a tiny, but powerful group of actors who are comfortable talking about issues other than their films and their love lives. Recently, Deepika Padukone spoke at length about battling severe depression.
However, since the Humans of Bombay post went up yesterday and Koechlin has a film releasing in a week, some social media enthusiasts have, however, commented that Koechlin was indulging in a publicity stunt. Perhaps they are not aware of the actor's long involvement with the issue. Some Twitter users put out cynical tweets as follows:
My sympathy for a sexual abuse victim lessens when they choose to talk about it just before the release of a film: http://t.co/ltIMZZHC1n
— Tanvi (@sinpulsive) April 10, 2015
Right so "opening up"abt your "depression, sexual abuse and bipolarity" is the latest best selling ad campaigns for actors. "I'm so reeeal"
— this is a blah tweet (@blahfamous) April 9, 2015
However, there were many others who voiced their support for Koechlin and lauded her courage.
— Akash Ashky (@akashashky) April 10, 2015
Much respect to Kalki Koechlin, Somy Ali and Poorna Jagannathan to talk on sexual abuse.Takes a lot of courage to open up for public figures
— 50 Shades Of A (@LeftOverWoman) April 6, 2015
And the actor deserves every bit of the praise she is being heaped with, particularly because she talks unabashed about the hypocrisy of our one-moral-too-many society.
One of the reasons why children are abused by hundreds in India, and the abusers get away with it, is because parents find it morally outrageous to talk about sex to children. Rather than hushing children up when the latter make an attempt to speak about things labelled as 'adult', parents should actually explain to children about what is acceptable behaviour by adults and what is not.
Koechlin in her account reveals that if the perpetrator of abuse of was guilty of a crime, so was the society around her, which made it impossible for her to talk about the abuse even to her own parents. For all you know, the same abuser perhaps got away wreaking havoc in the lives of many other children.
So instead of criticising Koechlin, perhaps, others should join her in dispelling the many myths around children and sexual abuse.
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Updated Date: Apr 10, 2015 14:25:29 IST