Up to 70% of domestic and family violence victims also report abuse of a companion animal.
Not only can animals suffer extreme trauma and sometimes death at the hands of an abuser, but this abuse can also adversely impact on other human-family members. Injuring and tormenting a much loved animal is often used by perpetrators of domestic violence as a way to exert control and to prevent victims from leaving the relationship.
Human and animal victims are not protected under our current laws. That’s why I’m fighting for legislative changes including:
- Explicitly listing animal abuse as a domestic violence offence
- Allowing victims to take custody of their companion animals
- Ensuring abusers are unable to pass a working with children or disability services check
- Including animals on ADVOs
- Ensuring all rental accommodation becomes companion animal friendly
It is time Australia recognised that animals are domestic violence victims in their own right. Only when we address all facets of abuse will we make real steps toward ending Australia’s domestic violence epidemic.