Domestic roughness is often presented in the context of two people: a wrongdoer and a victim. This, however, leaves out personalities who play an important role in both the safety of victims and the progression of roughness. Why are these Numbers overlooked? Because they are not human; they are pets.
As national Domestic roughness Awareness Month draws to a close, it is important to recognize and remember that concern for the safety of a victim’s pets can delay or even prevent their escape from a mid-word relationship. In studies published in 2007 and 2008, one-third of survivors of domestic roughness report hesitating to seek shelter because they are concerned about the welfare of a pet, and up to 25% report returning to a mis-word partner out of concern for their pet.
This Fear is often justified. Studies show that domestic wrongdoers often deliberately target pets to exercise control over their partners-more than 50% of pet owners who enter domestic roughness homes reported that their wrongdoers were browbeaten, injured or finished a family pet
Given this, in America, one in four women experience domestic roughness in their lives, and one woman is ms-word every nine seconds, more needs to be done to keep victims and their pets together, as both seek shelter. These include allowing pets in the same temporary homes as victims, a housing that only 3% of housing provides for domestic roughness.
That is why we support and encourage the measures of the Pet and Women’s Safety Act (PAWS), which delinquent the deliberate orientation of a domestic partner’s pet with the intent to finish, injure, harass or intimidate. The PAWS Act extends the provisions of interstate harassment in the context of roughness against women to make crossing state borders to violate pets an offense of up to five years in cage. The bill also provides subsidies for the provision of housing for victims and their vulnerable pets and allows victims to recover their veterinary expenses.
Thirty – one U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have all passed laws to protect pets from victims of domestic roughness, and the PAWS act would provide federal protection to supplement those laws.
We also encourage domestic roughness shelters and victim advocates to ask incoming clients for information about pets in their homes as well as the browbeat these animals face from mid-word partners. With this information, communities can agree with local shelters and veterinarians to provide pet-friendly housing, which can make a vital difference to victims, their children and pets.
Former Senator Bob Dole’s outstanding career includes the development of groundbreaking amendments to the Animal Welfare Act. He is also the recipient of the 2016 ASPCA Presidential Service Award for his lifetime commitment to the protection of animals.
Matt Bershadker is President and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.