Research and Statistics

Quick Stats

  • 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).

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

Published Articles

Cutt D, Signal T & Taylor N (2015) Mandated reporting of suspected animal harm by Australian veterinarians: community attitudes. Anthrozoos 28:3 437-447.

Arluke, A., Levin, J., Luke, C., & Ascione, F. (1999). The relationship of animal abuse to violence and other forms of antisocial behavior. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14, 963-975.

Ascione, F.R. (1998). Battered women’s reports of their partners’ and their children’s cruelty to animals. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 1, 119-133.

Ascione, F.R., Friedrich, W.N., Heath, J., & Hayashi, K. (2003). Cruelty to animals in normative, sexually abused, and outpatient psychiatric samples of 6- to 12-year-old children: Relations to maltreatment and exposure to domestic violence. Anthrozoos , 16, 195-211.

Ascione, F.R., Weber, C.V., Thompson, T.M., Heath, J., Maruyama, M., & Hayashi, K. (2007). Battered pets and domestic violence: Animal abuse reported by women experiencing intimate violence and by nonabused women. Violence Against Women, 13, 354-373.

Baldry, A. (2003). Animal abuse and exposure to interparental violence in Italian youth. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18, 258-281.

Becker F & French L (2004) Making the link: Child abuse, animal cruelty and domestic violence. Child Abuse Review 13: 399-414.

Boat, B.W. (1995). Commentary: The relationship between violence to children and violence to animals. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 10, 229-235.

Carlisle-Frank, P., Frank, J.M., & Nielsen, L. (2004). Selective battering of the family pet. Anthrozoos, 17, 26-41.

Currie, C.L. (2005). Animal cruelty by children exposed to domestic violence. Child Abuse & Neglect, 30, 425-435.

Dadds, M.R., Whiting, C., & Hawes, D. (2006). Associations among cruelty to animals, family conflict, and psychopathic traits in childhood. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21, 411-429.

DeGue S & DiLillo D (2008) Is animal cruelty a ‘red flag’ for family violence? Investigating co-occurring violence toward children, partners and pets. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 24(6): 1036-1056.

DeViney, E., Dickert, J., & Lockwood, R. (1983). The care of pets within child abusing families . International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems, 4, 321-329.

Duncan, A., Thomas, J.C., & Miller, C. (2005). Significance of family risk factors in development of childhood animal cruelty in adolescent boys with conduct problems. Journal of Family Violence, 20, 235-239.

Faver, C.A., & Strand, E.B. (2003). To leave or to stay? Battered women’s concern for vulnerable pets. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18, 1367-1377.

Fawcett NR, Gullone E and Johnson J. (2002) The relationship between animal abuse and domestic violence: implications for animal welfare agencies and domestic violence organisations. Domestic Violence Clearinghouse Newsletter, Issue 10 (March), 4-7.

Fitzgerald AJ (2007) “They gave me a reason to live”: The protective effects of companion animals on the suicidality of abused women. Humanity and Society 31: 355-378.

Flynn, C.P. (2000). Why family professionals can no longer ignore violence toward animals. Family Relations, 49, 87-95.

Articles & Reports

Like pet, like partner: links between animal abuse and domestic violence (Sydney Morning Herald)

Intimate partner violence and companion animal welfare (Australian Veterinary Journal)

Abusers of animals are five times as likely to harm humans” The Animal Legal Defense Fund USA (Animal Legal Defense Fund)

Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence – when animal abuse can be an indicator of other types of violence present in the home (Stop Violence Against Women)

Building Animal Relationships with Kids (BARK) (Report by Estée-Mathilde Lambin)

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