Neil Sorensen has revealed horrors of being a sexual abuse victim in his childhood.

The former New Zealand Rugby general manager opened up about being sexually assaulted as a child for years in an interview with TVNZ's Sunday this weekend.

The abuse started in Havelock North when he was nine years old, when he was befriended by an older boy in his neighbourhood. After some friendly encounters with Sorensen, the 17-year-old lured him into painful, invasive sexual acts.

"I was so young. I didn't know what abuse was. I just knew that this guy was doing stuff to me that I didn't like. But I continued to meet him, knowing that I might be hurt. I was powerless," Sorensen told TVNZ.


"I'd often have semen down my back or through my hair. I just thought it was sweat."

Sorensen's ordeal lasted three years, but stopped once the offender moved out of town. Sorensen went on to make his mark on the rugby world, but kept the details of his abuse quiet.

Sorensen, now 57, said he's learnt how to deal with various things that trigger memories of the abuse.

"I still get emotional about milk bottles, Roman sandals, candles, Led Zeppelin music and swimming pools."

Sunday's #MenToo programme airs at 7.30pm on TVNZ 1.