“Storm,” the dog who graces our front cover, enjoys the security of a loving home. Not all companion animals are so fortunate. Some live in homes where domestic violence is present, too often suffering alongside the human victims of abuse. David LaBahn, president and CEO of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) sums it up: “As prosecutors, we know that abusers take out their rage on the family pets as a way to exert more power and control over children, spouses, even their elderly parents.”
For the past several years, AWI has worked closely with the APA and other organizations to bring greater focus to the connection between family violence and animal abuse, and to provide resources to help law enforcement officials and other professionals aid victims and prosecute abusers. One such effort—our Safe Havens for Pets database—is discussed on the back cover. In producing and maintaining this database of facilities where domestic violence victims can quickly find reliable refuge for their beloved pets as they seek shelter themselves, it is our hope that more people and animals will be able, once and for all, to break free from abuse.
Photo by Cecilia van Prooijen