The daughter of legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar made a shocking revelation in a video message on Thursday, announcing that she was sexually abused as a child.
Anoushka Shankar, a sitar player and composer from India now living in London, decided to go public about the sexual abuse she faced at the hands of a family friend. Raw Story notes that she posted the video in support of the One Billion Rising campaign, a global movement for women's rights.
In her video, Shankar reveals, “As a child, I suffered sexual and emotional abuse for several years at the hands of a man my parents trusted implicitly. Growing up, like most women I know, I suffered various forms of groping, touching, verbal abuse and other things I didn't know how to deal with. I didn't know I could change."
Shankar dedicated her "rising" message to the 23-year-old Indian physiotherapy student who died after being brutally gang raped by five men in New Delhi. "I'm rising with the amazing women of my country who are together calling and saying, 'Enough is enough,'" says Shankar. "I'm rising for the child in me who I don't think will ever fully recover from what happened to her."
The sitar player asks supporters to join the One Billion Rising campaign and dance with her. The movement recognizes the 15th anniversary of the Feb. 14 V-Day campaign to end violence against women. Dancing is "dangerous, joyous, sexual, holy, disruptive," explains the campaign. "It joins us and pushes us to go further."
A United Nations estimate says 70% of women worldwide face physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime.
Shankar, 31, grew up mainly in the U.K. and began learning to play the sitar from her father at the age of 9, according to Billboard. Her most recent album, “Traveller," debuted last March.
She and and her sister, singer Norah Jones, were on hand at the 55th Grammy Awards to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of their late father, who worked with the Beatles, on Feb. 10.