CO-OCCURRENCE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND PETS IN ABUSIVE HOUSEHOLDS: WHAT PRACTITIONERS NEED TO KNOW (SESSION F)
A growing body of research suggests that abusive relationships not only present a risk of harm to women and children but also to pets residing in violent households. The Animal and Interpersonal Abuse Research Group (AIPARG) at the University of Windsor is dedicated to better understanding the link between violence against women and their pets to inform the development of evidence based programs to serve abused women and their animal companions. This session will provide an overview of the recent body of research conducted by AIPARG on the intersection of violence against women and animals in Canada to assist practitioners to better understand its scope, dynamics, and impacts. Findings drawn from three data sources will be presented: (1) surveys of women residing in battered women’s shelters which examined prevalence, risk factors, and psycho-social effects of animal abuse on abused women and their help seeking efforts; (2) surveys of shelter staff which explored organizational contexts that inhibit and/or facilitate addressing animal abuse in the context of intimate partner violence; (3) data from the General Social Survey of Canada on spousal abuse against women and threats to harm their pets in a nationally representative community based sample. Session participants will also be provided with a copy of the Partner’s Treatment of Animals Scale (PTAS), a tool developed and empirically validated by AIPARG to screen for specific forms of animal abuse in the context of intimate partner violence.