Integrating Animals Into The Family Violence Paradigm
This paper discusses the established link between animal abuse and family violence and outlines the implications for policy and professional standards (i.e., how the mental health profession sets and maintains standards for education and training). The author proposes including animal cruelty as an important component for assessment and treatment.
Despite progress in the conceptualization and response to family and youth violence, there is still a persistent lack of systematic attention being paid to the category of family and community violence, animal cruelty, and the integral role that animal cruelty crimes play in the prevention and treatment of violence. Research clearly demonstrates that children who witness violence in the family, such as animal abuse are at greater risk.
To successfully integrate animals into the research, policy, and practice of the family violence field will require changes at many levels: Federal, State, and professional. This paper proposes specific ways in which Federal and State actions, as well as changes in professional standards could advance this integration. The paper details how such an integration of animal welfare into human welfare responses would strengthen protection and enhance interventions for all members of society.[Excerpted from report]