Men's Health

#MeToo. Men Share Their Stories of Persevering Through Sexual Assault

"I was a shell, I shut down, I just existed."

New Zealand dancer Aaron Gilmore was only 11 years old when he was sexually assaulted by a family friend, a woman who he believed was like a second mother. Years later, he told the police about what happened, but the police said that they “couldn’t see what crime had taken place.”

Since then, Hendrika Margaret Shaskey was arrested in 2003, and was in prison for five years. At first she was charged with cruelty to a child, but this charge was later changed to sexual violation.

The abuse went on until he was about 18 years old, and it “left him feeling numb and like a shell.” He believed that she was being genuine toward him, and began to stay over her place and eventually moved in with her. When their relationship became more sexual, he became more uncomfortable with it, and felt that he couldn’t escape his situation.

Gilmore is still recovering from the abuse. He didn’t report it until he was 22 years old, and went to the police with his partner.

Photo sourc: New Zealand Herald/Richard Robinson