‘Delhi Belly’ actress Poorna Jagannathan was sexually abused


The ‘Delhi Belly’ actress Poorna Jagannathan opened up about her dark past in a video titled ‘Breaking the Cycle of Violence’, which is a part of a campaign by WEvolve Global. She recalled her dark childhood when she was sexually abused.

In the video, Poorna describes about her traumatic childhood. She calls her childhood a ‘roller coaster ride’ and speaks about living with an alcoholic father. She was asked not to talk about the darkness.

"The other person in our house was silence," she says.

Poorna recalls how she was sexually abused,"My first encounter with sexual violence was probably when I was nine. There was a neighbor, a family friend who got his hands on me and he obviously told me not to tell anyone but I had learnt that lesson before. I've encountered so many situations as a child or as a young adult that were violent but I wouldn't speak about it. There was a code that you didn't talk about it."

She also reveals that travelling in Delhi buses was a torture, "It was so routine," she says, a sentiment that might perhaps strike a chord with many female commuters.

"I always thought that silence was the best, safest, most acceptable way of coping," Poorna says in the video.

Poorna Jagannathan also acted in the play 'Nirbhaya,' based on 2012 Delhi gang rape. The play was helmed by Yael Farber in which participants spoke up about individual experience of sexual assault. 'Nirbhaya' won the 2013 Amnesty International Award.

After Pakistani actress Somy Ali and Hollywood star Ashley Judd, Poorna is the latest celebrity to speak about sexual violence. Bollywood actresses Deepika Padukone and Kalki Koechlin have also shared their views on sexual violence.