Animal abuse linked to domestic violence

Professor Dragiewicz said studies have shown that animal abuse by adults appears to be much more common in domestic violence situations than the general population.

“Much of the research on animal cruelty and human violence has been in the context of domestic violence,” Professor Dragiewicz said.

“The FBI’s National Incident Based Reporting System now includes animal abuse because of its correlation with violent crimes including domestic violence.

“Research shows that abusive men use violence and threats of violence against animals to impose and re-enforce their power and control in the home.

“Children who witness domestic violence may become perpetrators of animal abuse. Others try to hide pets to protect them from abuse. Children can be also harmed if they attempt to intervene in violence against animals.”

Professor Dragiewicz said women in domestic violence shelters reported ten times more animal abuse than women without abusive partners.

“In one study, 41 percent of men arrested for domestic violence reported having committed animal abuse as adults.

“As a result, domestic violence, animal and child protection organisations have long been aware of the connection between abuse of animals and humans.

“The 24/7 helpline DVConnect and the RSPCA set up the Pets in Crisis Program to help women who were afraid to leave pets behind when leaving an abuser.”

Professor Dragiewicz said the relationship between animal abuse and domestic violence is part of QUT’S Graduate Certificate in Domestic Violence beginning next month.

QUT is one of five Australian universities that have come together to form the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN).

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Media contact: Niki Widdowson, QUT Media, 07 3138 2999 or [email protected]


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