It’s been awhile since this was originally posted so we thought we should bring it to the forefront of people’s awareness.
This wheel is used to understand the complicated dynamics of domestic violence and some of the forms it can take. Domestic violence as you can see is not just physical.
To learn more about the Power and Control Wheel, visit the Home of the Duluth Model online.
Facts About Animal Abuse & Domestic Violence
The American Humane Society in association with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports:
Why it Matters
- 71% of pet-owning women entering women’s shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims; 32% reported their children had hurt or killed animals.
- 68% of battered women reported violence towards their animals. 87% of these incidents occurred in the presence of the women, and 75% in the presence of the children, to psychologically control and coerce them.
- 13% of intentional animal abuse cases involve domestic violence.
- Between 25% and 40% of battered women are unable to escape abusive situations because they worry about what will happen to their pets or livestock should they leave.
- Pets may suffer unexplained injuries, health problems, permanent disabilities at the hands of abusers, or disappear from home.
- Abusers kill, harm, or threaten children’s pets to coerce them into sexual abuse or to force them to remain silent about abuse. Disturbed children kill or harm animals to emulate their parents’ conduct, to prevent the abuser from killing the pet, or to take out their aggressions on another victim.
- In one study, 70% of animal abusers also had records for other crimes. Domestic violence victims whose animals were abused saw the animal cruelty as one more violent episode in a long history of indiscriminate violence aimed at them and their vulnerability.
- Investigation of animal abuse is often the first point of social services intervention for a family in trouble.
- For many battered women, pets are sources of comfort providing strong emotional support: 98% of Americans consider pets to be companions or members of the family.
- Animal cruelty problems are people problems. When animals are abused, people are at risk.
Why do abusers batter pets?
- To demonstrate power and control over the family
- To isolate the victim and children
- To enforce submission
- To perpetuate an environment of fear
- To prevent the victim from leaving or coerce her to return
- To punish for leaving or showing independence
At this time some states have pet protective orders. This is a step in the right direction in the effort to protect humans and pets from domestic violence. The following is a chart of which states have those orders and which don’t at this current time.
Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced the Pets and Women Safety (PAWS) Act of 2015, bipartisan legislation to help the estimated one-third of domestic violence victims who prolong their abusive relationships out of concern for the wellbeing of their pets.
“Sadly, domestic violence is something one in every four women will experience at some point in their lives,” said Congresswoman Clark. “This isolating experience is made even worse for those who fear for the safety of their pet. Most pet lovers, including me, consider their beloved dog or cat a part of their family. No one should have to make the choice between leaving an abusive situation and ensuring their pet’s safety. ”
“Many states allow pets to be included in restraining orders, but what happens when a domestic violence victim must go live with family in another state where pets are not covered?” said Michael Markarian, chief program and policy officer of The Humane Society of the United States. “We must have a national policy that safeguards the pets of abuse victims, and recognizes that domestic violence impacts all members of the family—including the four-legged.”
Domestic Violence Is: a pattern of emotional and/or physical behaviors by one partner to restrict the choices and freedoms of another.
Physical, verbal, or emotional-domestic violence is all about power and control.
If you would like a copy of the Power & Control wheel, please stop by Caring House and we would be happy to give you one.