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Jul092015

Men our hidden victims | Fairfield City Champion

By Kirstie Chlopicki July 7, 2015, 11:30 p.m.

DOMESTIC violence has affected more than 28, 000 people in NSW during the past year, but what's little known is that many victims are men.

The latest survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that reports of male domestic violence have doubled since 2005 and at least one in three victims of domestic homicide is male, figures that Fairfield community worker Matthew Dillon said should justify more support services for men.

Mr Dillon, who is the team leader at The Parks Community Network centre on Polding Street, said he was inspired to take action after a number of men approached the centre, seeking help.

Now, with the help of production company Decibel as well as funding from the Cabra-Vale Diggers Club, he has launched a DVD documentary on men's health that will be shown for the first time next Tuesday.

"I started to notice that when men came forward I had nothing to offer them because there's nothing out there," he said.

"The system has never been set up to help men and we need to change that."

Mr Dillon said part of the problem was the use of damaging terms such as "man up", especially during childhood, which made men more likely to avoid talking about problems such as depression, emotional abuse, domestic violence or even basic health.

"We're teaching a whole new generation of men that they can't be a victim — they can only be a perpetrator.

"If you're a victim, you're a victim, regardless of gender and we need to be able to offer the same services regardless of gender.

ABS figures that show men are twice as likely to not seek support support Mr Dillon's view.

"At the end of the day I'm just asking people to come together and have a conversation, put aside your prejudices and come up with a solution."

Men's Health Services director Greg Millan will host a men's health forum and an open consultation after the screening of the film; author and social researcher Maggie Hamilton will be the guest speaker.

A Male's Tale will show at Cabra-Vale Diggers on Tuesday, July 14, from 12.30 to 1.30pm with consultation until 5pm. To RSVP call 9609 7400.

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