About Lucy’s Project

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Founder Anna Ludvik, Olivia Neutered Dog and Billie Howliday. Photo credit, Denise Alison.

Safe families- paws and all.

Breaking news:  NEW WEBSITE IN DEVELOPMENT NOW! We look forward to launching our new, easier to use and up to date website later this year. 

Breaking news: Founder Anna Ludvik wins Citizen of the Year for her work with Lucy’s Project in the Lismore City Council Australia Day Awards.

Lucy’s Project recognizes that we fail to save human domestic violence victims lives when we fail to address the whole family- paws and all. Companion animals are often cited as the reason a victim returns to an abusive home, the inability to secure pet friendly accommodation the reason for increased homelessness for predominately women victims and their children. We recognize the trauma inflicted when beloved animals are abused as punishment, as a threat or means of control . We recognize the very particular trauma this inflicts on children and the special approach needed to help children heal. We recognize the role of many different fields and professions in responding to the intersection of companion animal ownership and domestic violence including vets, doctors, animal welfare organisations, crisis response systems, police, refuges, housing bodies, transitional homes and government. We recognize that working together as a coordinated network is imperative to the overall goal of saving lives, improving the quality of life for survivors and helping child survivors to thrive into adulthood.


Image courtesy of Pet Project at Women’s Aid Integrated Services, rah@wais.org.uk

  • 53% of women who experienced domestic violence reported the deliberate injury or killing of their companion animal (Gullone, 1994).
  • 19% of women who experienced domestic violence reported that their children had abused a pet.
  • 88% of families receiving services for child abuse had also abused their pets (Davidson, 1988).
  • 96% of animal abusers had also abused children (Humane Society, 2002).
  • Children exposed to domestic violence are three times more likely to engage in acts of animal abuse than their peers (Baldry 2005 and Currie 2006).

Founder, Anna Ludvik started Lucy’s Project on the 4th June, 2013 following the birth of her stillborn daughter, Lucy. “ I needed her senseless death to have meaning and to make the world a better place. I realized during labour that although my first born, longed for baby would be born forever sleeping, I was privileged. I was safe and I was living, Despite my suffering, not every woman was as safe as me that day., but many were also suffering. I couldn’t think of a better legacy for my daughter’s name to be attached to. A cause that seeks to protect vulnerable women*, children and the animals who comforted me during the impossible darkness that follows deep emotional pain. Every day I work hard in the hope that a child may live, a woman may thrive and an animal can happily frolic- because Lucy’s Project has recognized that animal protection is an intrinsic part of responding to the domestic violence crisis”.

Since its inception, Lucy’s Project has grown to be the peak organisation for ‘the link” (between animal abuse and domestic violence) in Australia. With chapters in most states of Australia, Lucy’s Project continues to grow from strength to strength. Having held a national conference, an international conference and more conferences in the pipeline that bring together multidisciplinary delegates from across the country and the globe, Lucy’s Project has empowered the sector as a whole with information, resources, contacts and more. Many organisations have used training and information they received through Lucy’s Project to launch major projects, receive grants, build pet friendly accommodation in women’s refuges, grow foster care networks and inspire colleagues to recognize the role of animals in protecting human victims of domestic violence. We were commended in the NSW Parliament by the Hon. Mark Pearson MLC for raising awareness of the animal victims of domestic violence, in 2016. We were endorsed by Rosie Batty in 2016 also.


*Lucy’s Project acknowledges that although most victims of domestic violence identify as women, that men, people who identify as transgender or non binary can be victims too Furthermore, not all perpetrators are men or in heterosexual relationships. We do not discriminate.


Please support our important work by making a donation to
Lucy’s Project, Newcastle Permanent BSB 650 300 ACC 513837906.

We always look forward to hearing from people working on similar projects and welcoming new members. Email info@lucysproject.com

Lucy’s Project inc. ABN  24 166471969