Anoushka Shankar: I was sexually and emotionally abused as a child


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The Independent Culture

The daughter of legendary Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar has spoken out about sexual abuse she suffered as a child.

In a video published on YouTube in support of anti-violence campaign group One Billion Rising, Anoushka Shankar said: “As a child I suffered sexual and emotional abuse for several years at the hands of a man my parents trusted implicitly.”

The sitar player,23, originally from India, lived in America as a child and now resides in London. Her father Ravi died aged 92 in December.

“Growing up, like many women I know, I suffered various forms of groping, touching, verbal abuse and other things I didn’t know how to deal with,” she said.

She said she was supporting One Billion Rising, a movement started by American playwright Eve Ensler on the 15 anniversary of the V-day campaign, “for the child in me who I don’t think will ever recover from what happened.”

She said: “As a woman I find I’m frequently living in fear. Afraid to walk alone out night. Afraid to answer a man who asks for the time. Afraid I’m going to be judged based on the ways that I choose to dress. Or the make-up I might choose to wear.”

She dedicated her message to the Indian medical student who was fatally gang raped on a Delhi bus in December.