Paul Davenport remembers the day he discovered the man who sexually abused him as a child growing up in Northland was dead.
He was getting ready for an exhibition called the Bristlecone Project which aimed to tell the stories of male survivors of sexual abuse and help others open up about their own trauma.
Davenport's black-and-white photograph was among those of 24 other men featured in the installation at Canterbury Museum in 2017 – all men who had been abused during their childhoods.
Just before the opening he heard the news of his abuser's death from someone via social media.
'I didn't feel anything. I'm not angry toward my abuser, I never have been. Most of my anger was aimed at myself not at others. I look back at myself, look back at the child who I was and how I could let that happen."
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Davenport was aged 7 and growing up in the small town of Broadwood, about 30km north of Rawene, when the abuse started.
His mum had died the previous year, and his dad, a local stock agent who was now bringing up his youngest son alone, wanted Sundays to himself to play golf.
So on weekends, Davenport spent time at a neighbour's house to give his dad time to recoup.
The neighbour who also took care of a number of other children, gave Davenport some desperately needed attention. He groomed him then sexually abused him.
"He had all the toys and games and made me feel very special. I'm not sure how long it went on for but it was regular. It stopped when I told Dad about it.
"At that point everything changed. He believed me, but never spoke of the incident again. I didn't go to this person's house anymore, but he still lived in the district."
Davenport believes his dad, who died in 1998, wanted to go to the police but was discouraged by others in the community.
"Everyone knew about it, but no one wanted to say anything. It's that shame around it, shame and guilt. Being in a rural community you don't let people know what's going on in your backyard."
Davenport wants to share his experience to break the stigma surrounding sexual abuse.
He encourages others to talk about it in order to heal.
Now living in Christchurch, the 44-year-old is a social worker with Hillmorton Hospital's community mental health service and has been happily married to his wife Fiona for 19 years.
He has made a career out of working with fellow survivors, sharing his story on numerous platforms.
These include the Good Men Project which aims to create a space for a "much-needed cultural conversation about manhood".
Davenport was also a peer support worker for Male Survivors Canterbury, a support agency for male victims of childhood sexual abuse.
While working there he initiated the Challenge the Silence videos, a series of videos in which 10 men - who all grew up believing they were the only ones it had happened to - share their stories.
"I'm no longer a victim," Davenport said.
"I'm a survivor. I've come a really long way."
But it took decades before Davenport reached this stage.
Leaving Broadwood aged 19 was the first step. He headed to Whangārei and went through a handful of jobs: truck driver, milkman, a stint in a carpet warehouse.
Though not violent, he was angry.
He suffered anxiety and depression and is still on the antidepressants he's been taking since the age of 19.
"I would hit myself, punch myself in the leg or head, I could be aggressive with my voice, I could be very scary if I wanted to. That was my protection mechanism. You can't get close to other people, you keep them at arm's length like that."
It wasn't until Davenport was in his early 40s that he started dealing with the abuse.
The crisis point came in 2014 in the form of chronic heart failure.
"I was 162kg and type 2 diabetic. I was doing a milk run to supermarkets and shops and getting more and more exhausted trying to load my vehicle and get in and out of the cab. My asthma was playing up at night so I went to the doctor who increased my medication. I went back and got blood tests done and found out I was in chronic heart failure."
After the doctor suspended his driver's licence for three months, which meant he couldn't do his job, Davenport took stock.
He enrolled in a Bachelors of Social Work programme at Christchurch Polytechnic.
Though he'd been in counselling, for the first time he focused on the sexual abuse.
"I'd done counselling, but I talked about everything else but the sexual abuse. It wasn't until I did the social work degree that it reared its head again.
"I've found out that working for male survivors, the average age of men coming through the service is 42.
"It's the last thing on their list – they've done drug and alcohol treatment, they've been to prison, done their crimes and they're really angry. People try to treat the anger, they don't treat the inner child that's hurt."
According to international research, one in six boys will be sexually assaulted by their 16th birthday, along with one in four girls.
Male Survivors Aotearoa national advocate Ken Clearwater - who publicly shared his own story of being raped as a 12-year-old 30 years ago - said New Zealand is certainly in line with those statistics.
Clearwater become an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2019 for his work helping male survivors of sexual trauma receive appropriate and timely support.
The main problem is children don't disclose what happened until 20 to 30 years later, he said.
"I believe it's a lot higher for both males and females. New Zealand is no different than anywhere around the world. We still live highly on the notion of stranger danger but that only makes up 5 per cent. Ninety-five per cent of sexual abuse is by someone they know or someone within their families or whānau."
Clearwater, a North Canterbury resident, said the first thing we need to do as a society is "accept and acknowledge".
"We still struggle to accept and acknowledge this is a major problem. Until society accepts we've got an issue nothing's going to change ... we pretend if we don't know about it, it's not happening."
Like many regional areas, there is a "huge gap" in services for male survivors including Māori males in Northland, Clearwater said.
Male Survivors Aotearoa is working hard to establish services in Northland for 2020 with support from the Ministry of Social Development, he said.
"The hardest thing for any victim of sexual trauma is to come forward and speak about it. We live in a patriarchal society where men are supposed to be tough and staunch. We need to make safe places for men to come forward."
Paul still suffers waves of depression, but these days life is good.
Having self-awareness is paramount, he said.
"There are lows and highs, it's something that never goes away. People try to fix it but you can't fix it. We can't change the past, but what we can do is change our future.
"For me it was creating a new story about my life. I thought I was this worthless person, that no one liked me. The mantra I use now is that I'm not responsible for adult decisions that were made about me when I was a child.
"It took me 30 years to know that and to come to that conclusion."
His message for others going through similar trauma is "you're not alone".
"When I used to work with men [at Male Survivors Canterbury] I'd tell them the stats. Next time you're at the saleyard look around that crowd and then count it out. You're not alone at all."
If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone contact: Safe to Talk confidential crisis helpline: Text 4334 or phone 0800 044 334; Victim Support 0800 842 846; Rape Crisis 0800 88 33 00; Male Survivors Aotearoa https://malesurvivor.nz/contact/; If you have been abused, remember it's not your fault.