Animal Abuse And Domestic Violence: View From The Border
This study examined the link between companion animal abuse and intimate partner abuse within Latino and non-Latino families.
Previous research indicates that abusers often threaten or harm companion animals in order to intimidate and control their female partners. Most of this research, however, has been limited to samples comprised primarily of non-Latino women. To address this gap, this paper reports findings from a survey of 151 companion animal-owning women (74% Latinas) who sought help from two South Texas domestic violence programs near the U.S.-Mexico border. 36% of the women reported that their batterers had threatened, harmed, or killed their companion animals; 35% reported that they worried about the safety of their companion animals while they were in the abusive relationship; and 21% reported that concern for the safety of their companion animals affected their decision about seeking shelter.