Quick note: Before listening to this episode, please consider your own personal safety. If you are experiencing an unsafe relationship, please choose a time and location that is safe for you to listen and consider marking the episode as “unplayed” and deleting your browser history when you finish.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and animal, equine and pet-based business owners have an obligation to better position themselves to provide assistance to their human and animal clients BEFORE a survivor walks through the “door” of their business.

Domestic violence victims and their children often have significant bonds with their pets, with the pet offering love and comfort, and often serving as trusted confidants.  People who chose to hurt animals, often do not stop at hurting animals. There is a recognized link between animal cruelty and domestic violence. Animal, equine and pet-based business owners ARE coming in contact with survivors of domestic violence and have the potential to play a lifesaving role in the prevention and response to domestic violence. 

Harm to animals is an indicator crime of other violence going on in the home. In fact, abuse of animals is also a direct tool that abusers will use to control their intimate partner. Survivors will often delay leaving an abusive relationship out of fear for their animals as abusers often threaten harm or neglect of pets and/or farm animals as a means of controlling their victim. Often, there is little to no safe haven available to larger animals such as livestock or horses. 

To learn more about domestic violence or to learn more about resources available to survivors, their children and their animals:

National Domestic Violence Hotline https://www.thehotline.org/ or call 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224

National Network to End Domestic Violence https://nnedv.org/

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence https://ncadv.org/

Interactive Safety Planning Tool https://www.thehotline.org/plan-for-safety/create-a-safety-plan/

Pet Safety https://www.thehotline.org/plan-for-safety/pet-safety-during-domestic-violence/