The Link Between Family Violence And Cruelty To Family Companion Animals
This article summarizes the empirical evidence available regarding the link between family violence and cruelty to companion animals and discusses the implications of these connections for professionals who work with women, children, families, and/or animals.
Family violence remains a prevalent social problem crossing racial, geographic, social, and economic boundaries (World Health Organization, 2002). Different forms of family violence often exist in the same households. In the 1980s, researchers observed a connection between acts of animal cruelty and family violence. Since then, other researchers have corroborated their findings.
Despite these articles appearing in scholarly literature, there has been relatively little attention given to this issue in mainstream literature on family violence and little evidence that this information has been used to inform prevention or intervention efforts. This research specifically addresses the connection between family violence and cruelty to family companion animals.