Sonam Kapoor
Sonam KapoorVarinder Chawla

Sonam Kapoor has opened up about being molested when she was just 13. The Bollywood actress said that she was groped by a stranger in a movie hall.

South Indian actresses who have been sexually harassed and abused in public

Sonam, in a recent interview with Femina, talked about the traumatising experience and how people consider being groped as something usual. Sonam said one unknown person groped her in a movie hall and that she got a shocking response from her teachers when she told them about being molested.

"Before I became a celebrity, I was just a regular pretty girl in public. This happened when I was in a movie hall. I was groped by a guy who I couldn't see in the dark. I was only 13 years old and deeply disturbed by the whole episode.

I remember going to my teacher and school counsellor, and telling them about it. They said that everybody is groped; that groping is not molestation. They thought rape was molestation. Even at 13, I knew what it was – that if somebody gropes you or squeezes your breasts, it is molestation. I spoke to my mum about it in order to deal with it. The level of awareness in our schools is so low; there is no sex education and teachers are not equipped to handle such cases. Our education system just does not know any better. Girls slip into depression. They blame themselves and it's a horrible place to be in," Sonam said.

Making a clear distinction between eve-teasing, molestation and rape, the Neerja actress said that these issues should always be taken seriously. "It's important for all of us to know that be it India or any other country, there is no safe haven for women. Somebody can grab your behind in a nightclub or a crowd and you need to be know that it's serious, it's molestation. Eve teasing is more verbal – somebody making unwanted remarks – but molestation is when somebody touches any part of your body without your consent, and rape is non-consensual sex," she added.

Sonam is not the only Bollywood actress who came across sexual abuse during childhood. Earlier, actresses like Kalki Koechlin and Somy Ali had also revealed that they were molested at a tender age.