By Aysha Akhtar (auth.)
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Extra resources for Animals and Public Health: Why Treating Animals Better is Critical to Human Welfare
In 88 percent of cases, the violence was committed in their presence. In 76 percent of these cases, their children also witnessed the animal cruelty. In other cases, women reported receiving threats either to kill or give away the animals. 64 In this incident, a man violently killed a dog who belonged to the female friend of a woman who had recently left him. The woman and her two children from a previous marriage were living with the friend. Since the female friend was housing the man’s estranged partner, her dog became for him the optimum vehicle for expressing his rage against both women.
He also tried to make two of the kids participate just to make it more heinous. 65 The study produced three signiﬁcant ﬁndings: 1. rates of partner or other family member companion animal abuse and rates of partner threats of abuse against companion animals were signiﬁcantly higher in the families with domestic violence than those without; 2. as reported by their mothers, children from the violent families witnessed signiﬁcantly more animal abuse than children from the non-violent families; and 3.
97 As these studies suggest, preventing childhood exposure to domestic violence may reduce their odds of becoming perpetrators of violence themselves. Several studies suggest that children who are themselves the victims of abuse may be more likely to harm animals. 98 Maternal caregivers of 1433 six- to twelve-year-old children completed questionnaires on their children’s behaviors and provided information about domestic and sexual abuse. The children were then divided into three groups: a normative sample, a sexually abused sample and a psychiatric comparison group without sexual abuse histories.