- Children’s witnessing or participation in animal cruelty is a significant marker for their developing aggressive and anti-social behavior and a predictor of future domestic violence.
- Batterers often kill and abuse pets to orchestrate fear, violence and retribution in homes marked by domestic violence.
- Severe animal neglect in the form of hoarding often indicates elders needing social services or mental health assistance.
- A majority of homes have pets and 98% of Americans call pets companions and family members. Animal abuse does not occur in isolation: it’s usually “the tip of the iceberg” and frequently the first opportunity for social services or law enforcement intervention. It is one form of interrelated family violence and dysfunction and a “red flag” for other violent behaviors.
- Officials who routinely include questions about animals and their welfare in investigations and assessments can quickly determine patterns of violence and risks to the safety of all family members.
- The old attitude of “It’s just an animal” is being replaced with a new awareness: “If he’s hurting animals, someone else in the home or neighborhood is next!”
The LINK informs many aspects of violence prevention. By viewing violence through the LINK lens, human and animal services agencies can transcend disciplinary boundaries with effective collaborations to break the cycles of violence and protect all vulnerable members of society.
Visit The National LINK Coalition for more research on The LINK