India’s leading female news presenter Barkha Dutt has revealed that she was sexually abused as a child. She made the revelation in her book titled “This Unquiet Land”.

In an exclusive extract published on the NDTV website , she detailed the incident which took place when she was not even ten and identifies the perpetrator as ‘a distant older relative.’

“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,” she wrote in the book.

“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 assaulter was thrown out of the house when Dutt finally told her mother but the memory of the incident did not leave her for a long time.

She also revealed how she was abused while she was in college by a fellow student who was studying to be a cinematographer .” When I told him that it was over between us he sprang up from the floor where he had been lounging, pinned me to the ground and lay on top of me, trying to sexually force himself on me. I slapped him. He hit me hard, grabbed me by my arm, shoved me around, slapped me and pushed me against the wall. My face was burning up with pain and anger. I pushed him away, walked out and took a rickshaw back home. My right cheek was now a purplish blue mass. Initially, I told my family that I had walked into a door.”

Child Sexual Abuse is a major problem in India, as it is in most countries. In 2007, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) released a study report on child abuse. The report discusses incidence of child abuse nationwide. It is estimated that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 have been subjected to forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence. Her decision to reveal the incidents has come in for praise on social media:

Read the entire excerpt on the NDTV website .