With the growing consciousness of the link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence, most of the job is yet to be done in education and collaboration (McEwen et. al. 2014). As per the study made by experts, animal wellbeing law enforcement, domestic violence and child welfare agencies are working jointly more and more in appreciation of “the link” the undeniable bind flanked by animal maltreatment and brutality towards people, chiefly within the family (Gullone 2014). Researchers have recognized and documented that hostility towards people, chiefly within the family.
Researchers have recognized and documented that violence towards animals can be both a module and an indication of a child spousal and elder exploitation. For an instance, in a landmark 1983 study, Deviney studied fifty-three families who met the officially authorized criteria for child abuse and neglect. Sixty percent of these families abused or neglected companion animals (Gullone 2014). In eighty-eight percent of the families where there was abuse of the children, there was animal abuse. In a Canadian study, fifty-six percent of pet-owning women seeking refuge in women’s shelters reported that their abuser had threatened or had harmed their pet. Of those women with children and pets, sixty-five percent believed the children were aware of the abuse, and impacted by it. This study, and others from the domestic violence field, consistently show that women delay leaving abusive situations because of fears for a pet's safety (Schwartz et. al. 2012). Many women’s shelters have arrangements with local animal shelters or veterinary hospitals to provide temporary housing for their pets.
Hostility towards family pets is a way that abuser exert power and control over their other victims, who may be children, spouse, or elders.
- Threatening or hurting the pet may be used as a warning. “Next time it could be you.”
- Threats may be used as leverage. Fear for the pet keeps family members (spouse, child or elder) from disclosing the abuse and exposing the abuser.
- Forcing the victim to witness cruelty to their pet is emotional abuse.
- Children who hurt animals may be acting out of their own experience, i.e., what they observe, or what they undergo themselves, at home.
McEwen, F.S., Moffitt, T.E. and Arseneault, L., 2014. Is childhood cruelty to animals a marker for physical maltreatment in a prospective cohort study of children?. Child abuse & neglect, 38(3), pp.533-543
Gullone, E., 2014. An Evaluative Review of Theories Related to Animal Cruelty. Journal of Animal Ethics, 4(1), pp.37-57.
Gullone, E., 2014. Risk factors for the development of animal cruelty.Journal of Animal Ethics, 4(2), pp.61-79.
Schwartz, M.D., Fremouw, W., Schenk, A. and Ragatz, L.L., 2012. Journal of Interpersonal. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27(5), pp.846-861.