When domestic violence occurs, it impacts the entire household. This includes children, as well as pets. This October, we will take a moment to raise awareness for the pets of the home.
Abuse oftentimes can involve pets, and that can look a lot of different ways. They can be the first victims in the home. Our pets mean a lot to us, so they can easily be used to manipulate a survivor. They can be the reason why a survivor stays with their abuser, with forty percent of abused women staying in an abusive home simply because they refuse to leave their pets behind. They can also serve as a reason to leave:
“My dog saved my life. I was able to justify the abuse I was enduring at the hands of my porter. I truly believed that I deserved what was happening to me. But when he started beating my dog like he beat me…that look in my dog’s eyes…I knew I wasn’t in a safe situation. I knew this wasn’t right. I knew I had to keep us safe. I knew we had to go.”