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Battered Women's Reports of Their Partners' and Their Children's Cruelty to Animals

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Abstract

Anecdotal reports of cruelty to pet animals in families where partner battering occurs are common but there exist few empirical data on this issue. Determining the forms and prevalence of such cruelty is important since abuse of pets may be a method batterers use to control their partners, may be related to batterers' lethality, and may result in children in such families being exposed to multiple forms of violence, a significant risk for mental health problems. Thirty-eight women seeking shelter at a safe house for battered partners voluntarily completed surveys about pet ownership and violence to pets. of the women reporting current or past pet ownership, 71% reported that their partner had threatened and/or actually hurt or killed one or more of their pets. Actual (as distinct from threatened) harm to pets represented the majority (57%) of reports. Fifty-eight percent of the full sample of women had children and 32% of these women reported that one or more of their children had hurt or killed pet animals; in 71% of these cases, the women had also reported animal abuse (threatened or actual) by their partner. This study represents one of the first empirical analyses of the prevalence of animal maltreatment in a sample of battered women. The high prevalence rate of batterers' threatened or actual harm of animals and the relatively high rate of animal abuse reported for the children in this sample are relevant for future research and policy analyses.
... Most of the included studies (n = 25) used crosssectional questionnaire (quantitative) surveys while the remaining five were qualitative. Among the included studies, four assessed participants' descriptive self-reports on the issue of AA (Allen et al., 2006;Ascione, 1997;Flynn, 2000b;Loring & Bolden-Hines, 2004), seven showed bivariate association between IPV and AA (Cavazos & Faver, 2007;Febres et al., 2012;Haden et al., 2018;Levitt et al., 2016;Simmons & Lehmann, 2007;Strand & Faver, 2006;Tiplady et al., 2012), and 13 reported multivariate association between IPV and AA. Five studies analysed and reported qualitative findings (Collins et al., 2018;Flynn, 2000a;Hardesty et al., 2013;Newberry, 2017;Tiplady et al., 2018). ...
... Sample sizes across the individual studies ranged from 10 to 1283 (10 to 103 in qualitative and 23 to 1283 in quantitative studies). The mean age of the participants, among the studies which reported age, ranged from 30.2 (Ascione, 1997) to 43.0 (Tiplady et al., 2018) years. ...
... Fifteen studies used standard validated scales to assess AA, among which three studies (Ascione, 1997;Ascione et al., 2007;Loring & Bolden-Hines, 2004) used the Battered Partner Shelter Survey -Pet Maltreatment Assessment (BPSS) and two (Collins et al., 2018;Hartman et al., 2018) used the Pet Treatment Survey (PTS) which was a revised version of the BPSS. Three studies used the Aggression Toward Animals Scale (ATAS) (Febres et al., 2012;Febres et al., 2014;Gupta, 2008), while the other three used the domestic violence Pet Abuse Survey (PAS) (Cavazos & Faver, 2007;Faver & Strand, 2003;Strand & Faver, 2006). ...
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This systematic review focused on animal cruelty in abusive adult intimate partner relationships with a specific focus on the prevalence, motivations, and impact of animal abuse on victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) and the pets involved. Peer-reviewed research articles were sourced from online databases PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus and PsycInfo in July 2020. Overall, 427 records were retrieved, of which 35 articles from 30 studies were included in this review. Relevant data were extracted, with results presented as a narrative summary. The findings showed that the prevalence of animal abuse is high in households with intimate partner violence (range: 21%–89%) and there is a significant relationship between intimate partner violence and animal abuse. Both are often perpetrated concurrently, with animal abuse used as a mechanism to control the partner and facilitate intimate partner violence. Animal abuse affected a victim's decision to leave the abusive relationship and seek support and had an ongoing psychological impact on both animal and human victims. The findings have practical implications for organizations, professionals and researchers working in the field of intimate partner violence and animal abuse.
... Es más, en las culturas en las que existe mucha crueldad hacia los animales, es más probable que las mujeres sufran violencia o sean asesinadas (Flynn, 2000). Además, la violencia contra los animales es un mecanismo común que emplean los maltratadores de mujeres en un acto flagrante de violencia psicológica (Adams, 2006, Ascione, 1998, Upadhaya 2014. Por estos motivos, es necesario conocer las conexiones entre la dominación de las mujeres y la crueldad contra los animales con el fin de lograr una educación igualitaria basada en la empatía, que rechace los valores androcéntricos y reivindique las virtudes de la Ética del cuidado. ...
... Recent research found that dog parks in urban areas promote social interactions between human guardians leading to increased neighborhood social cohesion. Increasing numbers of dogs in urban homes has raised the demand for, and number of, urban dog parks which provide benefits to both the dogs and humans: physical activity, socializing with neighbors, enjoyment of the outdoors, and increased feelings of personal safety in the park (Allen, 2007;Gómez, 2013;Gómez et al., 2018;Harnik & Bridges, 2006). Seeing other individuals walking dogs also increases perceptions that a particular neighborhood is safe (Wood et al., 2007). ...
... It should be underlined that direct abuse of companion animals is typically immersed in family dynamics (Jegatheesan et al., 2020). A considerable body of academic research on cross-species violence shows that such abuse is often linked with child and spouse abuse, and other forms of family violence (Boat, 1995;Ascione, 1998 ...
... Es más, en las culturas en las que existe mucha crueldad hacia los animales, es más probable que las mujeres sufran violencia o sean asesinadas (Flynn, 2000). Además, la violencia contra los animales es un mecanismo común que emplean los maltratadores de mujeres en un acto flagrante de violencia psicológica (Adams, 2006, Ascione, 1998, Upadhaya 2014. Por estos motivos, es necesario conocer las conexiones entre la dominación de las mujeres y la crueldad contra los animales con el fin de lograr una educación igualitaria basada en la empatía, que rechace los valores androcéntricos y reivindique las virtudes de la Ética del cuidado. ...
... Reports of animal abuse are more likely when women who are victims of intimate partner violence report a greater emotional attachment or closeness to the animal. 12,13 Considering that most victims of intimate partner violence are women, 8,[14][15][16] researchers have emphasized the intertwining of violence toward women, children, and animals. ...
Article
OBJECTIVE To determine the number and species of animals cared for by the PetSafe program at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine (a community service offered to meet the short-term housing needs of pets, especially pets owned by victims of intimate partner violence) from 2004 through 2019 and collect information on duration of stay, outcome, health problems, and expenses. ANIMALS 229 animals cared for by the PetSafe program. PROCEDURES Medical records were reviewed for information on species, breed, age, duration of stay, outcome of stay, client referral source, whether the animal had been cared for previously, health problems, medical interventions, and expenses incurred. RESULTS There were 124 dogs, 95 cats, 6 ferrets, and 4 sugar gliders; 187 of the animals were returned to their owners, 37 were rehomed, and 5 were euthanized because of medical conditions. The most common health problems were dental disease and dermatological complaints (eg, flea infestation and resulting fleabite dermatitis). None of the animals had physical evidence of abuse. Mean duration of stay was 22 days (range, 1 to 93 days), and mean ± SD cost per animal was $368 ± $341. CLINICAL RELEVANCE Over the 16-year period of the study, the number and species of animals cared for by the PetSafe program at Purdue and the health problems encountered in those animals were relatively stable, and the program was able to meet the relatively predictable financial costs incurred through existing sources of funding.
... The risk of lethality to first responders doubles when domestic violence incidents are also marked by animal abuse (Campbell et al. 2018). • 32% of domestic violence survivors in shelters reported their children had also harmed animals, repeating the intergenerational cycle of violence (Ascione 1998). ...
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