Safe Haven - Domestic Violence and Cruelty to Animals
In homes where there is domestic abuse, it’s not just the people who are at risk—animals are often targeted as well. We offer 24/7 help for victims of domestic violence who are concerned about the safety of their pets.
Numerous studies from across the country have found an undeniable link between domestic violence, child abuse and animal cruelty.
- A 1997 study of the 50 largest battered women shelters in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, found that 85% of women and 63% of children entering the shelter reported incidents of pet abuse in the family.*
- More than 83% of those 50 shelters have observed the coexistence of domestic violence and animal cruelty, but only 27% include questions relating to pet abuse in their intake interviews.**
- In a Utah safe-house, 71% of women stated that their abusers had also threatened, harmed or killed a family pet, and 20% had delayed leaving an abusive situation out of fear for their pet’s safety. ***
In case after case, victims of domestic violence are overwhelmingly reporting that their pets have also been threatened, harmed or killed by their abuser. Domestic violence victims concerned about the safety of their animals can have their service provider call the Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League 24/7 for help. WHS-WARL is a resource for victims, human service agencies, and any one else concerned about the safety of an animal in the District of Columbia.
If you are a victim in need of services please contact the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence at (202) 299-1181 online at http://www.dccadv.org
The violence must stop. We can help.
Please call the Washington Humane Society.
*“Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence: Making the Connection,” First Strike Campaign, The Humane Society of the United States.
**“Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence: Making the Connection,” First Strike Campaign, The Humane Society of the United States.
***“Safe Haven for Pets,” Frank R. Ascione, Ph.D., Utah State University