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DOMESTICATED VIOLENCE: Study reveals extent of animal abuse and torture in domestic violence situations

More than half of respondents in the new study said their tormentors had killed an animal in the context of domestic violence. Four out of five said there had been threats to kill or harm an animal.

ANTON NILSSON: Graphic accounts of horrific animal torture have emerged in a new study highlighting the suffering of animals in domestic violence situations. Animals are frequently subjected to horrific torture by domestic violence perpetrators, a study has revealed. The new report by Domestic Violence NSW highlights how animals suffer in abusive relationships and how abusing pets is often another means of mistreating partners. Based on the findings, the peak body recommends stronger responses from agencies fighting to prevent domestic violence and animal rights organisations.

It comes after NSW Prevention of Domestic Violence Minister Mark Speakman introduced a bill that would expand family violence protections to include animals… More than half of respondents in the new study said their tormentors had killed an animal in the context of domestic violence. Four out of five said there had been threats to kill or harm an animal.

Harrowing stories recounted by domestic and family violence survivors revealed the extreme levels of abuse leveled against animals by perpetrators. One respondent said they received a video of their perpetrator’s animal eating their pet, while another reported their perpetrator “holding an animal over a balcony railing by the back legs”. Another respondent told the researchers:… “My ex-wife felt I was giving him more love than her and was getting too much of my and my son’s attention, so she drowned him in the family pool. She told me I deserved this, and so did the dog, because he was a distraction and I was being selfish”…

The survey found the COVID-19 crisis had made the situation worse, with 70 per cent of respondents agreeing the pandemic had increased… Nearly one in five said violence against animals increased too. The new amendment to the Crimes Act 2007, introduced by Mr Speakman two weeks ago, is working its way through the lower house and is expected to be debated again next week. The bill would expand the meaning of “intimidation” in the context of apprehended domestic violence orders to include threats to animals. SOURCE…

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