"It takes an immense amount of courage to share this with the world."
Former Bollywood star and ex-girlfriend of Salman Khan Somy Ali wrote a powerful Instagram post on Monday, October 15, 2018, praising victims of sexual abuse who have spoken up in the wake of India’s #MeToo movement.
Somy has also urged other victim’s to come forward and not be discouraged by “non-believers”.
In 2015, before India’s #MeToo movement, Ms. Ali revealed she was sexually assaulted as a child.
She said: “I was sexually assaulted by a house-help when I was just five.”
Somy later revealed that she was raped at the age of 14. In her post, she states that she knows how difficult it is to speak about abuse.
Ms. Ali, who runs the charitable foundation No More Tears, added that it took her a long time to reveal her own ordeal.
In her Instagram post, she wrote: “I would like to salute all those that have spoken up and plan on doing so.”
“I know it is very difficult to do it because I have been there and it took me many years to be able to talk about it.”
“It takes an immense amount of courage to share this with the world.”
“It’s even harder when you tell those that are close to you and they are supposed to protect you, yet they do nothing. I have been there too and it hurts like hell.”
Many victims of sexual abuse and harassment have been questioned why they did not speak up earlier, to which Somy added:
“Do not let the nonbelievers stop you. This is your truth. Do not ever be afraid to speak your truth.”
“Do not let this opportunity pass you.”
Ms. Ali later posted a separate video message on Instagram, saluting actress Tanushree Dutta for starting India’s #MeToo movement.
Dutta’s sexual harassment allegation against Nana Patekar saw several other Bollywood stars join the #MeToo movement.
This includes allegations against director Sajid Khan which has led to the production of Housefull 4 being halted.
Saif Ali Khan has also joined the #MeToo movement after he was harassed 25 years ago.
Hailing from Pakistan, the former actress had a brief stint in Bollywood during the 1990s.
She starred in films such as Aao Pyaar Karen (1994) and Andolan (1995).
Somy also dated Salman Khan for eight years before their relationship ended in 2000.
It was reported that she was in an abusive relationship with the actor, however, she rose to his defence.
It was alleged that he smashed a glass bottle over her head but those rumours were shut down.
She said: “No, if he had done that, I would have been hospitalised and bleeding profusely.”
“He was not happy because I was trying alcohol for the first time, so in frustration, he poured the drink all over the table.”
The former actress has since spoken about her own experience as a sexual abuse victim and is inspiring others to do the same through her social media.
Somy Ali’s non-profit organisation No More Tears focuses on helping victims of human trafficking and domestic violence.