"there’s a problem there that isn’t being addressed"
Nadiya Hussain has said that she regrets speaking about her sexual assault experience during a recent interview.
It comes after 2015 The Great British Bake Off winner wrote about her experience in her autobiography, Finding My Voice (2019).
The book explained how she went to Bangladesh at five years old to visit her extended family, a member of which abused her.
Hussain said that she decided to write about it as she wanted to raise awareness of sexual assault, including sexual assault against children.
She added that she had asked her husband, Abdal Hussain, for advice before making the information public knowledge.
However, the baker said:
“I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t regret writing about it.
“I think there were moments when I’d written it into the book, and then written it out, and then thought, ‘Oh, should I? Shouldn’t I?’
“I said, ‘This is a big part of me that I’m giving away. Once it’s out there, I can’t take that back’.
“And I had to ask myself, ‘Why are you writing this? And who are you writing it for?’”
She went on to point out just how prevalent sexual abuse is towards women and girls.
The GBBO winner said: “The reality is that I grew up in a community where every girl I’d come in contact with, that I was friends with, had suffered some sort of sexual abuse through the hands of…”
She also noted that sexual assault isn’t confined to a particular community.
Hussain added: “In a group of girls; if every single one had suffered just the way I have, there’s a problem there that isn’t being addressed.”
She said she realised she was making an impact when others came forward about their own sexual assaults after the release of her biography, many for the first time.
The baker said: “That’s a big step for somebody and all adults who’ve spent their whole lives carrying this thing with them, just like me.
“Often, within these communities, we don’t talk about sexual abuse or predatory behaviour.”
“And so if it sparks something in a parent to say, ‘Actually, have I spoken about this to my children? Is this something that I’ve gone into detail about – what’s private and what isn’t private, and what is allowed and what isn’t allowed?’
“If it can just spark that conversation then I think that, to me, is job done.”
Nadiya Hussain has had a number of successful TV shows, books and media roles since winning The Great British Bake Off.