First National Conference Dedicated to Exploring the Violence Link between Animal Abuse and Abuse of Humans

First National Conference Dedicated to Exploring the Violence Link between Animal Abuse and Abuse of Humans

Animal abuse is more clearly correlated to family violence than mental illness, drinking or drug abuse.

The 2017 CFHS Canadian Violence Link Conference, offered by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, is the first national conference dedicated to exploring what is called the “violence link”. It is a proven connection between violence against animals and violence against people, and it can predict future brutality against human beings. This violence can manifest in many ways, including a pet being harmed or killed after a woman leaves an abusive relationship, or a serial killer who practises their abuse on animals before moving on to human beings.

The conference will be held in Ottawa on December 5 and 6, 2017. It calls for further collaboration to better recognize and address the patterns of violence that threatens the community. It also brings together the professionals working in services related to violence to improve the response to all kinds of abuse in Canada.

Sessions at the conference will address how to know if there is violence in a family; the challenges of prosecuting cases related to the violence link when victims are both humans and animals; how to make websites, social media sites, and community outreach programs that support survivors of violence; and therapy options for intervening and preventing animal abuse in adults and juveniles. Discussions will also focus on the need for better recognition and reporting of animal abuse and neglect. Employees working in the social and human services sectors will gain a better understanding of animal behaviour and an increased ability to look at an entire family and notice signs of violence and neglect. Attendees will also learn to assess an animal they encounter in the field and determine whether it is friendly or dangerous.

Facts and statistics on the violence link:
  • Perpetrators of violence will sometimes harm or kill companion animals or livestock as a method of control or revenge.
  • An Alberta study showed that 35% of female animal owners who escaped an abusive relationship had, during the relationship, received threats directed toward their pet or their livestock, or the animal had actually been harmed.
  • 24% of children in homes with domestic violence reported that someone had threatened an animal, and/or has seen or heard someone kill or harm an animal.
  • Sexually abused children are five times more likely to abuse an animal.
  • 48% of women who should be exiting from domestic abuse delay leaving or won’t do so for fear that their pets may be beaten or killed.
  • Animal abuse is more clearly correlated to family violence than mental illness, drinking or drug abuse.

This conference is for police officers, police chiefs and administrators; first responders; enforcement staff at humane societies and SPCAs; veterinarians and other animal care practitioners; justice workers and government workers; mental health, social services, and child welfare workers; and other front-line workers across Canada.

Ontario 211 Services is a lead partner in the conference, alongside the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women and the Ottawa Police Service. Organizations supporting the conference include SafePet Ottawa and Ottawa Crime Prevention.

To register and for more information:

About The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies convenes Canada’s largest animal welfare community, representing 52 humane societies and SPCAs across Canada. As Canada’s voice for animal welfare, we drive positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals. We’ll be exploring how law enforcement, social services, community organizations and animal welfare organizations can more effectively work together to address preventable violence across Canada.

To find these organizations on social media, click below:

Canadian Federation of Humane Societies

Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women

Ottawa Police Service

Ottawa SafePet

Crime Prevention Ottawa

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