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

NEWBERRY, Michelle (2015). Pets in danger: exploring the link between domestic violence and animal abuse. In: Athens Institute for Education and Research 9th Annual International Conference on Psychology, Athens, Greece, 24-28 May 2015.

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Research has reported that women who seek refuge in domestic violence shelters report instances of animals being abused as a form of psychological control (Ascione, Weber, Thompson & Heath et al., 2007). However, these studies have mainly involved the use of questionnaires and interviews to explore these experiences which increases the probability that participants may withold certain information due to ethical constraints (since researchers have a duty to disclose certain information to the police, participants are often asked not to reveal information which may reveal the identity of those involved in the case, such as children). Inevitably this has restricted the information that can be collected using this methodology. In an attempt to overcome these problems, data was collected from online forums where victims voluntarily discuss and share their experiences of domestic violence. Excerpts from domestic violence forums were analysed using thematic analysis and a number of themes and subthemes were identified. The themes indicate that pets are one of the main sources of support for domestic violence victims as well as children, and that many victims choose to stay in abusive relationships because domestic violence shelters do not have the facilities for animals. Findings have theoretical implications for understanding the links between domestic violence and animal abuse and also highlight the importance of developing relationships between domestic violence shelters and animal rescue organisations. Furthermore, findings have implications for police training and policy relating to domestic violence and animal cruelty cases.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Psychology Research Group
Depositing User: Michelle Newberry
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2015 09:22
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 18:30

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