The people who seriously hurt animals do not stop with animals. There is, however, an established link that exists between cruelty to animals and evident violence witnessed towards humans. While many people beliefs that the relationship between domestic violence and animal cruelty is minimal, but with a close investigation, there is a prominent link between animal and domestic violence. For many years, animals have suffered tremendously suffered from human cruelty. In America, just as it is in other parts of the world, animals are neglected, beaten, and forced to seek or struggle for survival. Domestic violence and animal abuse have different things in common. Both animals and people feel pain, experience distress, and even die from injuries. Until recently, the correlation between domestic violence and animal abuse, and another related form of community violence. For the last few years, a growing number of research have indicated that humans who continuously commit a different act of crime to animals end up translating the same animosity to their families or friends (Newberry, 2017). Murderers and other humans who seriously abuse their spouse or family members have a past history of frequently harming animals. In fact, people who abuse animals are considered dangerous to family members and end up engaging in domestic violence.
Animal and domestic violence professionals have started acknowledging the connection between animal abuse and domestic violence—as many people understand that both domestic and animal cruelty are ultimately linked in a unique self-perpetuating cycle of cruelty and violence. Arguably, individuals who witness family abuse and another related form of abuse have increasingly become desensitized to it. Newland et al. (2019) interviewed criminal psychologists and documented that individuals who directly participate or view any form of repeated abuse or cruelty towards animals often desensitize both spectator and perpetrators. Taylor et al. (2019) once documented that children who participate in tormenting or killing beasts, end up hardening their minds towards other humans. Those who delight in any form of destruction and suffering of the small or inferior creatures, cannot be apt to be very compassionate or accommodative behavior towards human beings (Fraser et al., 2019). Animal abuse often destroys respect for life, and women and children who have witnessed the abuse of animals are often at higher risk of experiencing family abuse. A strong link has been established between domestic violence and abuse of animals, since the cruelty to animal act as a significant prediction of possible future domestic violence (Monsalve et al., 2017). In fact, family abuse starts with pet abuse. If an animal is abused through neglect, there is a high probability that future domestic violence will occur, since abusers tend to target harmless and powerless beings. The parents who neglect their animals might end up neglecting their children.
The abuse of animal act as a predictor for future behavior in humans. The cruelty towards animals can become a warning sign of possible future domestic violence. For example, a child who is aggressive and who develops abusive behavior towards animals can easily later engage in human violence. In fact, child protection, mental health professionals, educators, and social service agencies in regard to animal abuse have explored anti-social behavior, and many people consider it as an important red flag in predicting future violent behavior (Coorey & Coorey-Ewings, 2018). In this case, an abusive behavior directed towards animals can predict later violence to family members. Many adolescents and children can engage in animal abuse either out of curiosity, exploration, mood enhancement, peer pressure, or as a measure of relieving boredom or depression—meaning that such individuals may end up abusing family members in the future. Arguably, many adults engaging in animal cruelty may end up engaging in domestic violence in order to express their aggression in form of correcting animal behavior. In fact, engaging in animal abuse destroys human dignity and respect for others—and this can further push humans towards engaging in domestic violence. Haden et al. (2018) conducted a research study about the link between animal abuse and domestic abuse and found that various violent offenders have a history of committing an act of animal abuse during their childhood life, or when at the adolescent stage. For instance, people who eventually abuse pets as children are even likely to commit a serious act of murder or different forms of crimes as they become adults (Haden et al., 2018). Arguably, criminal people have approximately five times to engage in committing various crimes against family members if they participated in animal abuse as youths. The correlation is that many aggressive criminals have historically committed the worst several acts of abuse to animals in childhood.
The act of abusing animals cannot be considered as mere signs of a minimal personality flaw, but can rather be considered symptomatic of deeply identified mental disturbance. The abuse towards animals can further be recognized as a nominal indicator of the most dangerous and unfair psychopathy that can end up claiming both humans and animals as victims. Newberry (2017) reviewed a survey of psychiatric patients who have engaged in torturing animals has eventually found that they develop strong aggression towards family members. Notably, the act of violence can be linked to a matter of escalation and can further increase cases of domestic violence. Haden et al. (2018) found that people with the behavior of engaging in violence or ready to victimize often start with small things, which they can easily control, then they gradually graduate towards humanity. An individual feels powerful and in control, while inflicting death or pain to animals has a high probability of engaging in acts that can be more heinous or morbid such as punishing family members. A good example of this escalation is the evidence of “Vampire Cult Leader“, Rod Ferrell, a man serving a life sentence for bludgeoning a couple to death in the state of Florida. Rod Ferrell first captured the attention of the Florida law enforcement in an incident that happened in Kentucky, where the law enforcement captured Ferrell, and was charged for breaking into a pet’s shelter, and tortured, mutilated, and killed two pets. The act of violence should be viewed as being dangerous, whether an individual is torturing an animal or a person.
Sexual homicide offenders have a strong history of animal abuse. Riggs et al. (2018) found that approximately 70% of all evident animal abusers have been linked to criminal offenses, and about 40% have engaged in domestic violence. In terms of gender, 63% of the men who have engaged in past incidences of animal cruelty in past, have corresponding incidences of domestic violence such as sexual abuse or child abuse (Riggs et al., 2018). In fact, 48% of the rapists have about 30% of the children molesters have subsequently reported engaging in animal abuse during adolescence. Riggs et al. (2018) found that fascination with the abuse of animals as a red flag can indicate that an individual is a rapist. As per the Deputy Manager of animal abuse for the Humane Society of the United States, Dale Bartlett, rapists, children molesters, and serial killers have strong animal abuse backgrounds. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) when profiling the incidences of serial killers and school shooters found that a large number of serial killers often starts with torturing and killing animals as kids. The reports of FBI were further cemented by John Douglas, a prominent FBI criminal profiler, who argued that a large number of serial killers or school shooters earliest act of violence often starts by engaging in torturing and killing pets or wildlife, then graduate towards brutalizing young siblings, and then later escalates towards engaging in domestic violence or different form of street crime (Randour et al., 2021). Domestic violence crimes often start with animal abuse.
The link between domestic abuse and the abuse of animals has been taken seriously by law enforcement and the entire society at large. The link is evident through policies and formulation of laws against child abuse, elder abuse, violent behavior towards animals, and increased home brutality such as rapists (Bright et al., 2018). The law must be formulated or formulated to protect animals and domestic violence. People must understand that animals and children need protection since it inflicts pain, fear, and violence to the defenseless. There are, however, various ways through which law has reflected the incidences of animal abuse and domestic violence. For instance, all states have started embracing felony animal cruelty laws. In fact, nearly 75% of the states in the United States have accepted to include pets in the domestic violence protective laws (Bright et al., 2018). The law has come amid efforts by the Federal and States government towards their widespread view that animals should be considered as family members who require robust protection laws. However, this will be essential for the sake of animal and human victims. Although the animal protection laws might be varying from one state to one another, there is a need to improve existing laws or merge them with domestic violence laws to protect animals from human cruelty (Bright et al., 2018). Including pet laws into the domestic violence protection laws has formulated a strong link between abuse of animals and abuse of animals.
In summary, while many people beliefs that the relationship between domestic violence and animal cruelty is minimal, but with the close investigation, there is a prominent link between animal and domestic violence. Animal abuse often destroys respect for life, and women and children who have witnessed the abuse of animals are often at higher risk of experiencing family abuse. The abuse of animals acts as a predictor for future behavior in humans. The cruelty towards animals can become a warning sign of possible future domestic violence. criminal people have approximately five times to engage in committing various crimes against family members if they participated in animal abuse as youths. An individual feels powerful and in control, while inflicting death or pain to animals has a high probability of engaging in acts that can be more heinous or morbid such as punishing family members. The law must be formulated or formulated to protect animals and domestic violence.
Bright, M. A., Huq, M. S., Spencer, T., Applebaum, J. W., & Hardt, N. (2018). Animal Cruelty as an Indicator of Family Trauma: Using Adverse Childhood Experiences to Look Beyond Child Abuse and Domestic Violence. Child Abuse & Neglect, 76, 287-296.
Coorey, L., & Coorey-Ewings, C. (2018). Animal Victims of Domestic and Family Violence: Raising Youth Awareness. Animal Studies Journal, 7(1), 1-40.
Haden, S. C., Mcdonald, S. E., Booth, L. J., Ascione, F. R., & Blakelock, H. (2018). An Exploratory Study of Domestic Violence: Perpetrators’ Reports of Violence Against Animals. Anthrozoös, 31(3), 337-352.
Monsalve, S., Ferreira, F., & Garcia, R. (2017). The Connection Between Animal Abuse and Interpersonal Violence: A Review from The Veterinary Perspective. Research in Veterinary Science, 114, 18-26.
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Randour, M. L., Smith-Blackmore, M., Blaney, N., Desousa, D., & Guyony, A. A. (2021). Animal Abuse as A Type of Trauma: Lessons for Human and Animal Service Professionals. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 22(2), 277-288.
Riggs, D. W., Taylor, N., Fraser, H., Donovan, C., & Signal, T. (2018). The Link Between Domestic Violence and Abuse and Animal Cruelty in The Intimate Relationships of People of Diverse Genders and/or Sexualities: A Binational Study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 0886260518771681.
Taylor, N., Fraser, H., & Riggs, D. W. (2019). Domestic Violence and Companion Animals in The Context of LGBT People’s Relationships. Sexualities, 22(5-6), 821-836.
Taylor, N., Riggs, D. W., Donovan, C., Signal, T., & Fraser, H. (2019). People of Diverse Genders and /Or Sexualities Caring for and Protecting Animal Companions in The Context of Domestic Violence. Violence Against Women, 25(9), 1096-1115.