The notion that animal abuse and domestic violence are related has been existing for centuries. Recent studies in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands report evidence for this relation. In the western world, more than 50% of families have pets. They are often valued as members of the family. It is obvious that pets can be victims of family violence as well. The relation between animal abuse and domestic violence has many manifestations. Abused women reported violence against their pets, reported that their children abused the pets. Abused children, especially severely abused and/or sexually abused children, are more often than other children animal abusers. Animal abuse is often related to other violent behaviour or severe criminal acts later in life. Besides, animal abuse is an early diagnostic marker for psychopathology. Animal abuse is always a signal of a problematic situation. A greater awareness of the possible link between animal abuse and domestic violence could contribute to saving men, women, children and animals from violent situations.
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