“When animals are abused, people are at risk. When people are abused, animals are at risk.”
LEVI examines every angle of violence prevention. One that is often overlooked is the connection between animal abuse and family violence. Often referred to as “the link,” this correlation between human violence and animal abuse is well researched and documented. In fact, the connection is so strong, that many communities have formed collaborations between human service agencies and animal welfare workers to ensure the safety of both animals and humans.
LEVI relies on veterinarians and animal care workers in our community to serve as first responders regarding all family violence. This may seem like a tall order but we’re really only asking that animal welfare workers to Recognize the signs, Respond with confidence, and Refer those involved in potentially abusive situations to local resources. This area of our website will help make our request easier by highlighting relevant research, offering useful links around local resources, and sharing the latest trends in our quarterly newsletter on the connection between animal abuse and other forms of family violence.
• 7 out of 10 victims of domestic violence will stay in a violent situation to protect their pets…and the longer they stay, the more at risk they become.
• 85% of women and 63% of children entering shelters discussed incidents of pet abuse in the family…so we know it is happening and sadly, isn’t rare.
• Witnesses or victims are often more comfortable talking about animal abuse than human violence. Ask…it could be that start of a larger conversation that saves lives.
• Animal cruelty is a warning sign for at-risk youth… and early intervention could be the answer.
- Police give child new pet after man kills 2 rabbits in domestic violence attack (2017)
- FBI Begins Tracking Animal Abuse, 4/27/16
- Man Pleads Guilty to Domestic Violence and Punching/Slapping Cat (2013)
- Man Kills Dog, Assaults Wife – News Channel 4, Oklahoma City (2013)
- Older articles illustrating the link (Resources)
- Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, and Animal Abuse: Linking the Circles of Compassion for Prevention and Intervention by Phil Arkow, Frank R. Ascione
- Animal Cruelty: Pathway to Violence Against People by Linda Merz-Perez, Kathleen M. Heide, Randall Lockwood, Frank R. Ascione
- Children & Animals: Exploring the Roots of Kindness & Cruelty (New Directions in the Human-Animal Bond) by Frank R. Ascione
For additional information and resources, please email or call LEVI at (303) 774-4534.