More American households have pets than have children. We spend more money on pet food than on baby food. There are more dogs in the U.S. than people in most countries in Europe - and more cats than dogs. • A child growing up in the U.S. is more likely to have a pet than a live-at-home father.
Pets live most frequently in homes with children: 64.1% of homes with children under age 6, and 74.8% of homes with children over age 6, have pets. The woman is the primary caregiver in 72.8% of pet-owning households. • Battered women have been known to live in their cars with their pets for as long as four months until an opening was available at a pet-friendly safe house.
The “Link” Over the past 30 years, researchers and professionals in a variety of human services and animal welfare disciplines have established significant correlations between animal abuse, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, elder abuse and other forms of violence.
The “Link” continued Mistreating animals is no longer seen as an isolated incident that can be ignored: it is often an indicator or predictor crime and a “red flag” warning sign that other family members in the household may not be safe. We call this species-spanning interconnectedness of different forms of violence “The Link.”
What does this mean? When animals are abused, people are at risk….. When people are abused, animals are at risk…..
25%-48% of battered women delay leaving an abusive situation for fear of what will happen to her pet if left behind.
Victims would rather stay in an abusive situation than to leave the pet with the abuser.
Why do Abusers Batter Animals? • To demonstrate and confirm power and control over their family • To isolate the victim and children • To enforce submission • To perpetuate an environment of fear • To prevent the victim from leaving or coerce her to return • To punish victim for leaving or showing independence • To eliminate competition for attention
Abusers create terror by generating fear as a tool to controlothers. Through their violence towards an animal they announce “You may be next.”
Animal cruelty should serve as a warning that the members of the family may also be in an abusive situation or that the potential for future violent behavior towards humans exists.
In some cases, the animal is the last victim in a chain of abuse that filters down from the strongest family member to the weakest.
What is the #1 Public Safety Issue in Longmont and in this Neighborhood? DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Domestic violence and dating violence injure more people than all other crimes combined! Many crimes are domestic violence related.
Domestic Violence in Longmont • 656 cases in 2011 • 1,300 calls for service • 29% of those involved ages 18-24 (2010) • 72% of defendants were male • 2 Detectives are assigned to manage these cases full-time
What is Domestic Violence? Domestic violence includes actual or threatened physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional abuse by a current or past spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or date. Victims of domestic violence are women, men, people who are dating, senior citizens, and LGBT relationships. Dating violence is domestic violence!
Types of Domestic Violence Physical Emotional Sexual Verbal
Power and Control When somebody abuses, they DO NOThave a problem with anger … They want POWER and CONTROL! Violent and abusive phase Cycle of Violence Honeymoonphase Tension-building phase
Domestic Violence Warning Signs Recognize
91% of all victims report having talked with family, friends, relatives or co-workers about the violence 83% of all victims who sought help did so because someone on the outside asked what was going on in the relationship. ASK! Respond
Children & Animal Cruelty • Children are not born knowing how to treat animals. • They learn their humane attitudes from the social values portrayed by parents and other influential adults.
Childrenwho view animals as objects instead of living beings may not make the connection that animals can suffer from pain too.
Children who abuse animals are usually abused themselves and stand a significant risk of growing up to be abusers.
“One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it.” - Margaret Mead
The final link…child maltreatment • “Abusing an animal is a way for a human to find power/joy/fulfillment through the torture of a victim they know cannot defend itself. • “Child abuse is a way for a human to find power/joy/fulfillment through the torture of a victim they know cannot defend themselves.” DO YOU SEE THE PATTERN HERE?
Child Abuse • Co-occurs with domestic violence in at least 50% of cases and more recently is estimated at 80%. • Is automatically charged if a child is present during a DV incident (39% of formal Longmont cases in 2010). • Often includes sexual assault of the child. • Perpetuates the cycle…exposure to violence in the home is the strongest risk factor for transmitting violent behavior to next generation.
Colorado Domestic Violence Law CO ST § 18-6-800.3; C. R. S. A. § 18-6-800.3 "Domestic Violence" also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal.
Colorado Law passed in 2010 Regarding Protection Orders • Also, a protection order prohibits the abuser from threatening, taking, transferring, concealing or harming an animal owned by the protected person. ** See Colo. Rev. Stat. §13-14-101(2.4)(a)
Mandatory Reporting Section 19-3-304. Persons required to report child abuse or neglect. “Any veterinarian who has reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect or who has observed the child being subjected to circumstances or conditions which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect shall immediately report or cause a report to be made of such fact to the county department or local law enforcement agency.” Respond
Outlets for Support • Safe Shelter of St.Vrain Valley • Counseling, advocacy, safety planning, support, protection order assistance • 24 hour crisis line: 303-772-4422 • LEVI (Longmont Ending Violence Initiative) • Non-emergency info and referrals: 303-774-4534 • Longmont Police Department • Emergency, dial 911 • Non-emergency: 303-651-8555 • Boulder County Social Services: 303-441-1000 • National Domestic Violence Hotline • 1-800-799-7233 Refer
LEVI provides the following non-emergency resources: Prevention/EducationEmpower the community to end domestic violence through educational and informative presentations, training, awareness campaigns & events. Public InformationHeighten community awareness and action, as well as change public opinion and social behavior toward domestic violence. Access/Referrals Provide referrals and easy access to local resources for domestic violence victims and their families. Longmont Ending Violence Initiative (LEVI)
Safe Shelter of St.Vrain Valley • Bilingual 24-hour crisis line • Shelter, counseling and advocacy for victims and their families • Outreach Center for ongoing counseling, support, safety planning and legal advocacy. • Youth services including TERA (Teens Ending Relationship Abuse) peer education group • All services confidential and free of judgment
Longmont Police Department • Animal Control Officers: • Robin Breffle • Tammy Deitz • Allison Meyer • Diane Milford • Longmont Police Department Domestic Violence Detectives: • Detectives Sandie Esters and Mark Deaton
Longmont Humane Society • Shelter, adoption • Clinic • Training classes • Public outreach • Advocacy • Thrift store www.longmonthumane.org 303-772-1232
Contact Information Jackie List, Executive Director– Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-772-0432 Trish Wood/Kim Heard – LEVI Project Coordinators email@example.com, 303-774-4534 Robin Breffle-Longmont Police Department Animal Control firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-774-4300 x4086 Dr. Sue Muench – CVMA/CACP Liaison email@example.com