Barkha Dutt Opens Up About Being Sexually Abused As A Child

Priyam Saha , 29 Jan 2016
Barkha Dutt
Barkha Dutt

Barkha Dutt is one of the most important journalists of our country. In her book, The Unquiet Land, she shared an incident where she faced sexual abuse as a child.

Here’s an excerpt:

“I was not even ten when I was first sexually abused. The perpetrator was a distant older relative who had come to stay with us for a short period of time. Like many Punjabi households, ours was an open house, always welcoming to cousins and their friends, and their friends in turn. Today, decades later, I cannot even recall the precise connection of this man to my family. But, to a child’s eye, he was avuncular and affectionate and, in any case, I just assumed I was safe in my own home.

         Little did I imagine that this much-older, family figure – someone who would take the kids for piggy-back rides and twirl us around in the air – could be such a monster. Worse still, as a child unable to process the magnitude of what had happened – I was the one who felt grotesque and dirty. The concept of teaching your child to distinguish between ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’ had not yet become the enlightened norm. But after the first few times I had innocently followed him to ‘play’ with him in his room, I was overcome by panic and disgust.”

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At the Jaipur Lit Fest 2016, while discussing her book, Barkha opened up about choosing to include that chapter in it.

In a report by Born Of Web, she said:

I have reported a lot about violence against women. It would have been hypocritical of me if I didn’t talk about my own experiences. That’s my contribution in encouraging women to stand up and speak against violence.

Thank you for sharing your story, Barkha :)

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