PAWS Magazine

Issue 63, Spring 2006

Halting the Cycle of Violence

It is gradually becoming common knowledge that people who abuse animals rarely stop there. They often elevate their assaults to humans, usually family members. To combat this, PAWS has actively participated in a working group of the Snohomish County Domestic Violence Task Force for more than a year. The members of this group include animal control officers, domestic violence advocates, 4H leaders and animal welfare organizations.

The only one of its kind in Snohomish County, the group focuses on the link between violence toward animals and domestic violence, and is working to develop and promote effective initiatives to end domestic violence, create a coordinated community response to hold abusers accountable, as well to support survivors— including the family pets.

As part of this innovative group, PAWS is helping with several key projects, which include:

  • Developing a safe haven program for family pets that need to be temporarily rehomed away from an abusive home. Often, families at risk of domestic violence feel they cannot leave the abusive situation because there is no safe place for their companion animals to go.
  • Creating a presentation for counselors, teachers, and school administrators on the link between animal abuse and domestic violence. If a child has witnessed animal abuse at home and can reach out to a trusted adult for help, resources could be offered to the family to help prevent violence from escalating.
  • Holding a poster contest through 4H and the Evergreen County Fair to raise awareness of this issue.

PAWS also works to nurture the inherent compassion in every child through its Humane Education Program. By giving kids the tools and knowledge to develop compassion and respect for all animals, we may prevent a future cycle of violence from ever putting animals or families at risk.

PAWS Humane Education Program
Link Between Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence


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