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Published May 2002
LGVN Special Report - Domestic Violence

Proven Link Found between Animal Abuse, Child Abuse and Domestic Violence.

Exclusive Looking-Glass report on the "The Link".

Recent statistics are showing that links between animal abuse and domestic violence exist. And pets are found to be one of the common denominators in family violence. photo from Baltimore Police Dept. campaign

Evidence is mounting that animal abuse is frequently embedded in families scarred by domestic violence and child maltreatment, and often predicts the potential for other violent acts, according to a book sponsored by the Latham Foundation.

  • A 1983 study (USA) found that 60% of pet owning families meeting the criteria for child abuse and neglect also had abused or neglected pets.
  • Conversely, a British study by the RSPCA found that 83% of families with a history of animal abuse had been identified by social services as at-risk for child abuse or neglect.
  • A 1996 study of women in shelters in Utah, USA found that 71% of pet owning women entering a shelter reported their partner had threatened, maltreated or killed an animal.
  • A 1997 study by the Massachusetts SPCA found that 70% of animal abusers had committed at least one other criminal offence and almost 40% had committed violent crimes against people.

The book, "Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, and Animal Abuse: Linking the Circles of Compassion for Prevention and Intervention" edited by Humane Society official Phil Arkow and Frank Ascione PhD professor of psychology at Utah State University, is a compilation of 45 original essays by 51 noted authorities who argue that violence prevention programs can be enhanced by including animal protection personnel and therefore recognize animal maltreatment as a human welfare issue.

In America and Canada "The Link" is already a landmark reference for researchers and field workers. But in the UK little is yet known about the compelling evidence linking such areas of human / animal welfare.

To introduce "The link" to both animal and humanitarian organizations in the United Kingdom, Phil Arkow, along with other notable speakers presented a one day conference in London in late 2001.
Holly Cook of Intervet UK, organizers the UK conference said: "There has been plenty of response and motivation based on the "The Link" in America and Canada - everything from TV commercials to posters and journal articles, we hope the London conference begins to raise a similar level of awareness here in the UK". "We had very good attendance on the day and I was pleased about the wide variety of people attending - no single interest group or organization seemed to be over-represented."

Photo from Baltimore Police Department campaign poster.

"Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, and Animal Abuse: Linking the Circles of Compassion for Prevention and Intervention" is also the editors book choice at VeggieGlobal

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