Two Dubbo men who have been victims of domestic violence say $13 million in state government funding is the first step on a long road to acknowledging male victims.
The men say the money gives them hope that society is recognising the problem, but say there is a long way to go until they are accepted and helped like female victims are.
Luke and Dylan had both been subject to domestic violence within their homes and at the hands of women.
Luke said there was no help for men to break the cycle of domestic violence and said his past attempts to report abuse had ended with him being accused of being the perpetrator.
“Males do cop violence towards them. I’ve been through some pretty traumatic stuff. I’ve been kicked, bashed, hit and stabbed,” he said.
“I find it very discriminating that domestic violence is always marketed as men are flogging women. It doesn’t have to be a partner, it can be in the family, from a mother, father or sibling.
“Apart from the physical, you can have quite substantial emotional violence towards you, where you keep getting put down.”
The men said it was time that domestic violence, regardless of who was the perpetrator and who was the victim, was taken seriously and the mental being of the victims taken seriously.
The $13 million announced by the state government would go towards new responses to male victims of domestic violence, using non-government organisations.
Both Dylan and Luke said their experiences had been made worse by the lack of assistance made available, which accentuated their pain and suffering.
Luke said he hoped the funding was the start of greater recognition for men who have suffered terrible mental and physical abuse.
“At least it’s a start. It’s definitely not enough. Male domestic violence needs to be recognised on the same level as female domestic violence,” he said.
“They are both exactly the same, neither should happen and it shouldn’t be accepted or tolerated.”
Dylan said he didn’t feel people’s attitudes to male victims were changing at all but remained hopeful that it would happen.