The Department was responding to claims by the support group for male victims of domestic violence, Amen, that it was sexist for excluding them from this project.
But the Department insisted last night the new National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency was non-gender specific and will apply to both male and female victims of domestic violence.
The 120,000 funding for the one year pilot scheme is coming from the Department of Justice.
Amen was also critical of the fact that no representative of male victims of domestic violence was given a place on the new Agency’s board.
Amen founder Mary Cleary said this was a retrograde step, because it assumed women were the only victims.
But the Department of Justice said the advisory committee set up in relation to the pilot project comprises representatives of the Agency, the Gardaí, the Courts Service, the Probation and Welfare Service, the Legal Aid Board, the Department and the Cork Domestic Violence Project. The interests of the male victims of domestic violence will also be represented on the advisory committee by the Cork Domestic Violence Project who have provided services to male victims of domestic violence.
However, the Department of Health’s own Review of Gender Neutral Studies shows that half the domestic violence cases were caused by both parties using violence, according to Amen.