One of the first steps in helping survivors and their pets is to learn more about domestic violence and the link between human and animal violence.
Check out the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s article, “Why do victims stay?” to learn more.
Approximately 70% of survivors in shelters report that their abuser used a pet as a means of power and control and, in a recent study, 76% reported noticeable changes in their pets’ behavior as a result of abuse. In addition, survivors residing in homes with an abuser who has a history of pet abuse are at an increased risk of harm or injury.
What does this mean? Approximately 50% of survivors delay leaving an abuser if they can’t take their pet with them, and one study found that 25% of survivors returned to an abuser out of concern for their pet.
Not only does this create a barrier to safety for survivors and their pets, it also means that organizations are missing a valuable tool for healing: 91% of survivors shared that their pets play a significant role in their ability to survive and heal.