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Animal Abuse as a Risk Factor for Domestic Violence  

Author:  Phil Arkow.

Source: Volume 07, Number 01, Summer 2014 , pp.7-13(7)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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A particularly abhorrent manifestation of abusive dynamics operates in many families: the batterer’s abuse of the family pets. As Phil Arkow points out, women are the primary caretakers of domestic animals (as well as of children), so when a batterer threatens to harm a beloved pet, he is sending a very clear message about his intentions towards the rest of the family as far as his violent intentions. Advocates and others providing support for DV victims urgently need to understand this especially sinister form of intimate partner violence.

Keywords: Animal cruelty; pet safekeeping programs

Affiliations:  1: National Link Coalition.

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