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Child Abuse, Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse

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* More research over the past 20 years that defines the relationship between these forms of abuse Becker and French describe 4 major themes in this research. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Child Abuse, Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse


1
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2
Child Abuse, Domestic Violence,and Animal Abuse
  • Angela Scott, J.D.
  • Winona State University
  • ascott_at_winona.edu
  • 507-457-2892

3
Agenda
  • Historical perspective
  • 4 major themes from the research
  • A continuum of abuse
  • Animal abuse by children
  • An indicator of child abuse
  • Therapeutic potential
  • A note on elder abuse
  • Practical implications of the research
  • Resources

4
Historical Perspective
  • Outright cruelty to animals was wrong because it
    produced violence
  • toward humans.
  • Thomas Aquinas

5
Historical Perspective
  • Those who delight in the suffering and
    destruction of inferior creatures will not be apt
    to be very compassionate or benign to those of
    their own species.
  • John Locke
  • 1705

6
Historical Perspective
  • Childhood cruelty to animals may be a precursor
    to antisocial behavior in adulthood.
  • Margaret Mead
  • 1964

7
Historical Perspective
  • 1865 - Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals
  • 1874 - Society to Prevent Cruelty to Children
  • 1930s - Social Security Act federal government
    recognizes an interest in protecting children
    from abuse
  • 1944 - Prince v. Massachusetts - S Ct. confirms
    the states authority to intervene in the family
    to protect children.
  • 1962 - Dr. C. Henry Kempe authors The Battered
    Child Syndrome child abuse an independent
    diagnosis
  • 1967 - Mandated Reporting Laws all 50 states
  • 1970s - MR Laws expand to include sexual abuse

8
4 Major Themes from the Research
  • Animal Abuse as part of a continuum of abuse
    within the family
  • Animal abuse perpetrated by children who show
    later aggressive and deviant behavior
  • Animal abuse as an indicator of the existence of
    child abuse
  • The therapeutic potential of animals in child
    development and within post abuse work
  • Becker and French 2004

9
A Continuum of Abuse
  • 23 families in one social service area who were
    reported for animal abuse
  • 82 of the families were also known to social
    services and the children were considered at risk
  • 60 of families were known to probation
  • Hutton (1980)

10
A Continuum of Abuse
  • 53 families - NJ division of Youth and Family
    Services
  • In 88 of families where there was evidence of
    physical abuse to child there was also animal
    abuse.
  • In approximately 2/3 of pet abusing homes the
    father was abusive toward pets
  • In approximately 1/3 of pet abusing homes
    children were abusive toward pets
  • DeViney et al (1983)

11
A Continuum of Abuse
  • Adults and children 10 times more likely to be
    bitten in abusive home
  • 69 of families reporting animal abuse also
    reported animal had harmed a person.
  • Only 6 of families in non abuse group reported
    animal harmed a person
  • DeViney et al (1983)

12
A Continuum of Abuse
  • 21 Refuges for women
  • 44 of abused women reported that their partners
    had abused or killed family pets
  • 43 of the women reported that concern for their
    pets welfare prevented them from leaving the
    relationship earlier.
  • Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
    Animals (2000)

13
A Continuum of Abuse
  • 100 battered women / compared with a group of
    women in non-violent homes
  • 50 of battered women reported their partner had
    hurt or killed pets
  • 5 of non battered women reported partner had
    hurt or killed pets
  • Almost 25 reported that they delayed leaving
    because of concern for animals.
  • Ascione (2000)

14
A Continuum of Abuse
  • 101 victims of domestic violence
  • These victims were 11 times more likely to report
    that their partner had hurt of killed a pet than
    a comparison group with no intimate partner
    violence
  • If a pet was threatened or harmed, 34 delayed
    entering shelter out of concern for pet.
  • Ascione et al 2007

15
A Continuum of Abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Animal abuse used to gain control
  • Animal abuse used to gain silence.
  • Ascione (1998), Arkow (1996), Firmani (1997)

16
Continuum of Abuse
  • Sexual abuse survivors reveal
  • Pets used to gain control
  • Pets used to ensure their silence
  • Adams (1998)
  • Batterers who also abuse animals
  • More controlling
  • Used more dangerous forms of violence including
    sexual violence, marital rape emotional violence
    and stalking
  • Simmons and Lehman (2007)

17
A Continuum of Abuse
18
Continuum of Abuse
  • 860 college students in 3 universities in
    California, Ohio and Nebraska
  • 60 who witnessed or perpetrated animal abuse
    cruelty as a child also reported experience with
    child maltreatment or domestic violence
  • DeGue and DiLillo (2009)

19
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20
4 Major Themes from the Research
  • Animal Abuse as part of a continuum of abuse
    within the family
  • Animal abuse perpetrated by children who show
    later aggressive and deviant behavior
  • Animal abuse as an indicator of the existence of
    child abuse
  • The therapeutic potential of animals in child
    development and within post abuse work
  • Becker and French 2004

21
Animal Abuse by Children
  • Animal abuse may be a form of rehearsal for human
    directed violence.
  • Becker and French (2004)

22
Animal Abuse by Children
  • 28 incarcerated sexual homicide perpetrators
  • 36 committed acts of animal cruelty in childhood
  • 46 committed acts of animal cruelty in
    adolescence
  • Ressler et al (1988)

23
Animal Abuse by Children
  • While not everyone who abuses animals becomes a
    serial killer, virtually every serial killer
    first abused animals.
  • Mertz-Perez et al (2001)

24
Animal Abuse by Children
  • Albert DeSalvo The Boston Strangler
  • Trapped cats and dogs in boxes and shot arrows
    into the boxes
  • David Borkowitz The Son of Sam
  • Shot neighbors Labrador Retriever
  • Jeffrey Dahmer
  • Killed neighbors pets and impaled their heads on
    sticks in his yard
  • Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold Columbine
  • Mutilated cats

25
Animal Abuse by Children
  • Features of childhood cruelty that are most
    predictive of later aggression
  • Lack of remorse
  • A variety of cruel acts
  • Victimizing a variety of species
  • Being cruel to socially valuable animals
  • Dogs or cats v. rats
  • Kellert and Felthous et al (1983)

26
Animal Abuse by Children
  • Living in a violent family
  • may lead some children
  • to vent their own fear and anger
  • on those more vulnerable
  • than they are.
  • Ascione

27
4 Major Themes from the Research
  • Animal Abuse as part of a continuum of abuse
    within the family
  • Animal abuse perpetrated by children who show
    later aggressive and deviant behavior
  • Animal abuse as an indicator of the existence of
    child abuse
  • The therapeutic potential of animals in child
    development and within post abuse work
  • Becker and French 2004

28
An Indicator of Child abuse
  • 35 of boys who were sexually abused had abused
    animals
  • 5 of non abuses boys
  • 27 of girls who were sexually abused had abused
    animals
  • 3 of non abused girls
  • Friedrich et al (1986), Friedrich (1992)

29
An Indicator of Child Abuse
  • 12 year study
  • 300 children who sexually abused other children
    and committed other violent offenses.
  • Many of these children were molested as children
  • 20 of these children had a history of sexually
    abusing animals
  • The Young Abusers Project Duffield et al (1998)

30
An Indicator of Child Abuse
  • It has been noted that in most cases the sexual
    acts were carefully planned with pet animals
    targeted, isolated, groomed and abused
  • (rather like their child victim counterparts)
  • Duffield et al (1998)

31
4 Major Themes from the Research
  • Animal Abuse as part of a continuum of abuse
    within the family
  • Animal abuse perpetrated by children who show
    later aggressive and deviant behavior
  • Animal abuse as an indicator of the existence of
    child abuse
  • The therapeutic potential of animals in child
    development and within post abuse work
  • Becker and French 2004

32
Therapeutic Potential
  • Animal relationships can help children move along
    the developmental continuum and promote the
    development of resilience
  • Gilligan (2000)

33
Therapeutic Potential
  • Give children warmth, recognition, attention
  • Offer Comfort - physically and emotionally
  • Provide friendship and companionship
  • Help children develop responsibility
  • I can do it
  • Enhance empathy
  • Promote healing

34
A Note on Elder Abuse
  • Pets are often the most visible victims Elders
    on the other hand may be the most hidden victims.
  • As many as one in 10
  • elders are abused.
  • Lockwood

35
A Note on Elder Abuse
  • Elder abuse and animal abuse go together so often
    that when I see one I automatically look for the
    other.
  • Barbara Fabricant
  • 25 year investigator of animal abuse

36
Practical Implications of the Research
  • Cross Training
  • Child Protection
  • Law Enforcement
  • Prosecutors
  • Health Care Professionals
  • Veterinarians
  • Humane Services
  • Womens Shelters
  • Child Advocacy Centers
  • Judiciary
  • Adult Protection
  • And others

37
Practical Implications of the Research
  • Cross Reporting
  • 9 states have cross reporting legislation as of
    July 2007
  • California, Connecticut, District of Columbia,
    Ohio, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, Tennessee, West
    Virginia
  • Additional legislation pending in
  • District of Columbia, New York, Ohio,
    Massachusetts,
  • DeGue and DiLillo (2009)

38
Practical Implications of the Research
  • Animal inclusion in protective order
  • 9 states
  • Maine, New York, Tennessee, Colorado, Indiana,
    Illinois, Connecticut, Vermont, Nevada
  • Legislation pending in
  • California, New Jersey, District of Columbia
  • DeGue and DiLillo (2009)

39
Practical Implications of the Research
  • Forensic Interviews with children
  • Ask children about their pets
  • Excellent way to build rapport
  • Ask are pets happy / safe?
  • How does your pet learn to do something good?
  • What happens if your pet does something wrong?

40
Practical Implications of the Research
  • Caregiver interview
  • Ask about pets in the home
  • Has child witnesses violence toward people or
    pets?
  • Has child intentionally caused harm or injury to
    pet?
  • Home visits
  • How are pets treated in the home?
  • How do they respond while you are present?

41
Practical Implications of the Research
  • Break the Cycle of abuse!
  • As soon as possible
  • If you find one form of violence, look for other
    forms of violence
  • Offer counseling
  • Specialized counseling from professional trained
    to deal with the issues of abuse

42
Resources
  • Safe Havens for Pet by Frank Ascione (2000)
  • http//www.vachss.com/guest_dispatches/safe_havens
    .html
  • American Humane
  • www.americanhumane.org
  • Humane Society of the United States
  • www.hsus.org/firststrike
  • _

43
Resources
  • 50 Strategies to Prevent Violent Domestic Crime
  • http//mcgruffstore.org/50strattopre.html

44
  • Whatever you can do
  • or dream you can, begin it.
  • Boldness has genius,
  • power and magic in it.
  • Begin it, begin it now
  • Goethe
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