Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence
A 2017 study showed that 89% of women who had companion animals during an abusive relationship reported that their animals were threatened, harmed, or killed by their abusive partner.
The Animal Welfare Institute created this list of facts and myths about the connection between animal cruelty and domestic violence:
- FACT: Domestic violence, child abuse, and animal abuse frequently occur simultaneously in a family.
- FACT: Women with pets may delay leaving a dangerous environment for fear of their pets’ safety.
- FACT: Individuals who commit pet abuse are more likely to become batterers.
- FACT: Animal abuse often is linked to the severity of IPV.
- MYTH: Animals abusers represent a distinct type of offender.
- MYTH: A safe haven for pets of domestic violence victims is always a place where the pets of domestic violence victims are sheltered in the same area as the family.
- FACT: Safe havens for pets—offering assistance either with direct service or information to survivors of domestic violence about housing their pets safely—have grown nationally.
- American Humane Association: Expanding Protective Orders to Include Companion Animals (PDF)
- Animal Welfare Institute: Protecting Domestic Violence Victims by Protecting Their Pets (PDF)
- Animal Welfare Institute’s Safe Havens Mapping Project
- First Strike: The Violence Connection (PDF)
- The Link: Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse (Office on Women's Health)
- The National Children’s Advocacy Center, Free Online Trainings
- Representing Domestic Violence Survivors with Pets in the District of Columbia, Maryland & Virginia (PDF)
- Virginia Detecting Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence Cards for LE and ACOs (PDF)