Pets in danger : exploring the link between domestic violence and animal abuse

NEWBERRY, Michelle (2017). Pets in danger : exploring the link between domestic violence and animal abuse. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 34, 273-281.

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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S...
Link to published version:: 10.1016/j.avb.2016.11.007

Abstract

Previous research has found that domestic violence (DV) victims who seek refuge in DV shelters often report the abuse of companion animals as a form of psychological control. However, these studies have mainly involved the use of interviews and questionnaires which restrict the quality and depth of data collected (e.g. these methods increase the probability that victims will withhold information due to embarrassment or ethical constraints). The current study utilized a novel method previously overlooked in the literature on companion animal abuse in an attempt to overcome these problems; domestic violence victims’ stories of companion animal abuse were obtained from online forums where victims voluntarily shared their experiences. Seventy-four stories were analyzed using thematic analysis and four key themes were identified: The Victim-Companion Animal Bond; Companion Animals Used to Control Victims; Victims' Perceptions of Abusers' Behavior; and Support for Victims and Companion Animals. A number of DV victims reported that companion animals were one of their main sources of support, and many chose to stay in an abusive relationship because DV shelters did not have the facilities to house their pets. Findings have policy implications for police, DV shelters, child protection organizations, and animal welfare organizations.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Psychology Research Group
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.avb.2016.11.007
Depositing User: Michelle Newberry
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2016 12:09
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2017 01:03
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13989

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