The third week of every April is Animal Cruelty and Human Violence Awareness Week, a time dedicated to raising awareness and understanding the connection between animal abuse and violent acts between people.
Animals are often in vulnerable positions in home settings, as women and children can be, and may be targeted by abusers in similar ways. Researchers found that 71 percent of domestic abusers also target pets and 88 percent of child abusers target pets. In many cases, violence and abuse towards animals are indicative of other violent behaviors, including violence against people, property crimes, and drug or disorderly conduct offenses.
By understanding these relationships, we can work to end these problems, break cycles of violence and improve our community as a whole.
What Can You Do to Help?
You can help stop the cycle of violence by recognizing that animal abuse is an indicator of serious problems. Police know that in homes where animal abuse is a problem, other issues are often concurrent. So report any suspected cases of animal abuse because it can help curb violent tendencies before they escalate to include violence against people and vice versa.
Other ways you can help include donating to organizations working to prevent animal and domestic violence, as well as spreading the word and educating others about these issues. Together, we can all put an end to these senseless acts of violence.