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Domestic violence is a community problem that requires a community response. The widespread effects of domestic violence impact survivors - both humans and animals, our children’s futures, healthcare costs, community resources, and incarceration rates. It takes a community to end domestic violence. Awareness and education are the start.




Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used by one person to maintain power and control over another person in a relationship - living in the same household or have lived in the same household. Relationships may include intimate partners, family, friends, roommates, and caretaker and client. Disclaimer: Domestic violence content includes graphic information. 



  • 71% of women in domestic violence shelters report that their abuser threatened, injured, or killed a pet

  • Almost 50% of survivors stay in abusive situations rather than leave their pet behind

  • As many as 1 in 4 survivors will return to their abuser because of threats to harm their pet

  • 87% of batterer-perpetrated incidents of pet abuse are committed in the presence of their partners
    for the purpose of revenge or control

  • 76% of batterer-perpetrated incidents of pet abuse are committed in the presence of children

  • Domestic violence survivors whose batterers abuse their pets report more than 2x as many incidents of
    child abuse as compared to survivors whose batterers have not abused pets

  • Batterers threaten, harm, or kill their children’s pets in order to force them to remain silent about abuse

  • Individuals who commit pet abuse are more likely to become batterers

  • 55% of domestic violence survivors and their children report pets are very important sources of emotional
    support and abuse toward their pets are especially devastating

  • Only 12% of domestic violence programs can provide shelter for pets and 24% provide referral services
    to local animal welfare organizations. Prison Pet Partnership works with domestic violence organizations

    to provide safe shelter to survivor pets


  • Among women in prison, 70 - 80% have experienced violence from intimate partners

  • Nearly 60% of people in women’s prisons nation-wide, and as many as 94% of some women’s prison
    populations, have a history of physical or sexual abuse before being incarcerated

  • Women in prison are 2x as likely as women in the general public to report childhood histories of
    physical or sexual abuse

  • Among girls involved in the legal system, 84% have survived some form of family violence or abuse
    prior to confinement

  • At least 30% of women serving time on murder or manslaughter charges were protecting themselves
    or a loved one from physical or sexual violence

  • Six pathways to incarceration are correlated with histories of abuse:

    1. Abused and runaway girls

    2. Trafficked women and girls

    3. Substance use disorder

    4. Economic crimes coerced by their batterer

    5. Harm of others in self-defense or falsely reported by batterer

    6. Enforcement of discriminatory and coercive laws

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The threat of harm or death to herself, her children, or her pets played a major factor in her decision to commit a crime with and at the direction of her abuser.


“I should get prison time, but not 50 years,” wrote a woman who had driven a car for her abusive boyfriend after he [took a man’s life] during a burglary.


“Fifty years for driving a car under duress - with [his] threat always there to [harm] me and take away my kids for leaving him.”

‘Respondents found it hard to prove that they had been abused, because domestic violence and rape are private violations, usually without witnesses. But even if they had evidence, they faced another problem: There was a dead body, and it wasn’t theirs.’


“That morning he said, ‘One of us is going to die today,’” wrote a woman who had been brutalized for decades. “I just snapped.”

“The tragedies we suffered as little girls and young women in a sense ‘groomed and doomed’ us to this current state of modernized slavery,” [...] “I have been the recipient of acts of violence since I was a child, and the law was virtually nowhere to be found. But the one time I fight back because I am afraid for my life, I am now a ‘violent’ offender.” - Sandra Brown


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