Text of The Link between Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence
The Link between Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence
More American households have pets than have children. We spend more money on pet food than on baby food. There are more dogs in the U.S. than people in most countries in Europe - and more cats than dogs.
A child growing up in the U.S. is more likely to have a pet than a live-at-home father.
Pets live most frequently in homes with children: 64.1% of homes with children under age 6, and 74.8% of homes with children over age 6, have pets. The woman is the primary caregiver in 72.8% of pet-owning households.
Battered women have been known to live in their cars with their pets for as long as four months until an opening was available at a pet-friendly safe house.
The “Link”Over the past 30 years, researchers and professionals in a variety of human services and animal welfare disciplines have established significant correlations between animal abuse, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, elder abuse and other forms of violence.
The “Link” continued
Mistreating animals is no longer seen as an isolated incident that can be ignored: it is often an indicator or predictor crime and a “red flag” warning sign that other family members in the household may not be safe. We call this species-spanning interconnectedness of different forms of violence “The Link.”
What does this mean?
When animals are abused, people are at risk…..
When people are abused, animals are at risk…..
25%-48% of battered women delay leaving an abusive situation for fear of what will happen to her pet if left behind.
Victims would rather stay in an abusive situation than to leave the pet with the abuser.
Why do Abusers Batter Animals?
To demonstrate and confirm power and control over their family
To isolate the victim and children To enforce submission To perpetuate an environment of fear To prevent the victim from leaving or
coerce her to return To punish victim for leaving or showing
independence To eliminate competition for attention
terror by generating fear as a tool to control others.
Through their violence towards an animal they announce “You may be next.”
Animal cruelty should serve as a warning that the members of the family may also be in an abusive situation or that the potential for future violent behavior towards humans exists.
In some cases, the animal is the last victim in a chain of abuse that filters down from the strongest family member to the weakest.
What is the #1 Public Safety Issue in Longmont and in this
Domestic violence and dating violence
injure more people than all other
Many crimes are domestic violence related.
Domestic Violence in Longmont
656 cases in 2011 1,300 calls for service 29% of those involved
ages 18-24 (2010) 72% of defendants
were male 2 Detectives are
assigned to manage these cases full-time
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence includes actual or threatened physical, sexual, psychological,
or emotional abuse by a current or past spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or date.
Victims of domestic violence are women, men, people who are dating, senior citizens, and LGBT relationships.
Dating violence is domestic violence!
Types of Domestic Violence
Power and Control
Cycle of Violence
When somebody abuses, they DO NOThave a problem with anger …
Verbal abuse Rigid sex roles Jekyll & Hyde personality
Threats of Violence
Why do abusers abuse?
Low self-esteem May present dual personality
Traditional roles - supremacy
Uses the excuse of “keeping the family together”
Suffers from past issues such as child abuse, neglect or witnessing abuse
Uses violence to deal with feelings
Pathologically jealous and intrusive into partner’s life
Blame their actions on their partner or others
Why can’t victims leave?Low self-esteem
Keeping the family together
Promises of Change
Fear of insanity
Isolation Perception of no place to go
Learned behavior – GUILT
Societal attitudes / traditional roles
91% of all victims report having talked with
family, friends, relatives or co-workers about
83% of all victims who sought help did
so because someone on the
outside asked what was going on in the
Children are not born knowing how to treat animals.
They learn their humane attitudes from the social values portrayed by parents and other influential adults.
Children & Animal Cruelty
Children who view animals as objects instead of living beings may not make the connection that animals can suffer from pain too.
Children who abuse animals are usually abused themselves and stand a significant risk of growing up to be abusers.
“One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it.”
- Margaret Mead
The final link…child maltreatment
“Abusing an animal is a way for a human to find power/joy/fulfillment through the torture of a victim they know cannot defend itself.
“Child abuse is a way for a human to find power/joy/fulfillment through the torture of a victim they know cannot defend themselves.”
DO YOU SEE THE PATTERN HERE?
Co-occurs with domestic violence in at least 50% of cases and more recently is estimated at 80%.
Is automatically charged if a child is present during a DV incident (39% of formal Longmont cases in 2010).
Often includes sexual assault of the child. Perpetuates the cycle…exposure to violence in
the home is the strongest risk factor for transmitting violent behavior to next generation.
Colorado Domestic Violence Law
CO ST § 18-6-800.3; C. R. S. A. § 18-6-800.3
"Domestic Violence" also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal.
Colorado Law passed in 2010 Regarding Protection Orders
Also, a protection order prohibits the abuser from threatening, taking, transferring, concealing or harming an animal owned by the protected person. *
* See Colo. Rev. Stat. §13-14-101(2.4)(a)
Section 19-3-304. Persons required to report child abuse or neglect.
“Any veterinarian who has reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect or who has observed the child being subjected to circumstances or conditions which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect shall immediately report or cause a report to be made of such fact to the county department or local law enforcement agency.”
Outlets for Support Safe Shelter of St.Vrain Valley
– Counseling, advocacy, safety planning, support, protection order assistance