A Melbourne teenager has gained international support from social media users after posting a bloodied picture of himself on Facebook to speak out about domestic violence.
Dylan Salanitri, 18, shared the image on Tuesday night with the intention of raising awareness about violence against men.
In the photograph, a bright red streak of blood is trickling down his face from an open wound near his eyebrow.
In the moments before the photo was taken, he said he was king hit – blindsided by a punch that was quickly followed up by another.
The attack, he said, had come from his ex-girlfriend.
“She came up and yelled at me a little bit and clocked me twice before I really knew what happened. It was a good punch,” Mr Salanitri said.
The altercation happened in February, and while the Rowville labourer said he initially found the confrontation humorous, he soon began to feel like it was wrong.
“I did make fun of it because I didn’t know how to deal with it properly,” he said. “But the more I thought about it, I thought I should do something about it.”
Reaching out to his friends online, he decided to take a stand to let people know that domestic violence - regardless of gender - is an issue that needs addressing.
“No one really wants to say they’ve been bashed by a girl or hit by a girl or anything like that. If they [other victims] cant (sic) speak up, then I’m happy that I did.”
Within 48 hours Mr Salanitri’s post gained more than 70,000 likes from people around the world.
He maintains the post was not to spite his ex, but rather to convey a message.
“It wasn’t a crack at her or anything like that. She really has nothing to do with it at all. She just happens to be the story behind it in order to get my point across,” he said.
The Bureau of Statistics found that one in three victims of physical violence in Australia are male, and that men are half as likely as women to tell anybody about it.
Mr Salanitri’s post was commended by both men and women on Facebook.
“Cheers to you man, the brave guy you are to post this every man and woman deserves equal bloody rights!” one woman wrote.
“Yes not enough said about this subject good on you for making it known that violence against anyone is not on well done,” another said.
Several men also post images of scars left on them by former partners.
“Couldn’t agree with you more,” one of the men wrote.
The National Domestic Violence Helpline can be contacted on 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.
News break – September 29