Intimate partner violence and companion animal welfare
Article first published online: 18 JAN 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Australian Veterinary Journal © 2012 Australian Veterinary Association
Australian Veterinary Journal
Volume 90, Issue 1-2, pages 48–53, January/February 2012
How to Cite
Tiplady, C., Walsh, D. and Phillips, C. (2012), Intimate partner violence and companion animal welfare. Australian Veterinary Journal, 90: 48–53. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-0813.2011.00843.x
- Issue published online: 18 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 18 JAN 2012
- (Accepted for publication 10 March 2011)
- animal abuse;
- domestic violence;
- interpersonal violence;
- intimate partner violence
Objective To investigate the effect of intimate partner violence (IPV) on companion animal welfare.
Design Self-selected telephone survey of people meeting the criteria.
Methods Members of the Australian public with experience of IPV and concurrent companion animal ownership were invited to telephone a researcher for a semi-structured interview.
Results In total, 26 Australian women reported one or more companion animals in the household being verbally and/or physically abused by their male partner, usually with prolonged effects on animal behaviour; 92% indicated that they had been unwilling to discuss the animal abuse with a veterinarian. Many were unaware of animal accommodation services for people fleeing violence and those who did know about these were unwilling to use them, citing their bond with the animals as the main reason. Animals targeted for abuse were most likely to be dogs and owned by women rather than men, children or both partners.
Conclusion Animals can be severely affected by domestic violence situations and many people experiencing violence are unwilling to confide in veterinarians or seek help from animal shelters.