Male Victims of Domestic Violence - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Male Victims of Domestic Violence

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Police said domestic violence is becoming more common in the Tri-Cities. But it's not just husbands beating up their wives.

The U.S. Department of Justice said 835,000 men are assaulted by their intimate partners every year. And victims of domestic violence are no longer primarily women in distress.

Domestic violence crime scenes are happening more and more everyday. Many of the suspect's faces are husbands who let their anger get the better of them. But a national awareness group for domestic violence said the amount of male and female victims are now almost the same.

"The problem is our governmental policies and most of the agencies that set their federal funding, see domestic violence as being purely an issue of sex when in fact it's not," said David Usher, Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting (RADAR). 

Usher said 38% of people injured from domestic violence are men. Kennewick and Richland police said they see the similar numbers. But local leaders for domestic violence services said that doesn't mean women are necessarily responsible.

"After tolerating months, weeks, and years of emotional abuse they may be the ones to throw the first punch," said Kelly Apkin, Domestic Violence Services.    

Apkin said she doesn't belittle men who claim to be victims of domestic violence. She realizes it's a real problem that affects both woman and men. She said men just don't call for help.

"There is that added embarrassment in our society that men are supposed to be in charge, supposed to be in control," Apkin said.   

And Apkin said her office will help any man who is victim of domestic violence.

If you're a man or a woman who's a victim of domestic violence, here's the hotline number you can call for help -  582-9841.