Women, children and animals are inextricably linked in cycles of violence including domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault and violent serial crime. 89% of women in shelters report the perpetrator abused their pet, 100% of serial predators commit acts of animal cruelty and 47% of women delay leaving an abuser because they can't take their pets. But the system treats animal cruelty as a minor social ill addressed in isolation leaving animals and people vulnerable to greater victimization.
CFHS will form the first national task force dedicated to building a social safety net that includes animals, supports people with pets and ensures women can flee violence with their pets at their sides. CFHS will design and deliver training modules addressing the links between human violence and animal violence for people working in child protection, domestic violence prevention, enforcement and legal services with specific tools and tactics for recognizing and addressing the link their work.
We will offer ground breaking education and training to 144 police forces in Canada, the 627 women's shelters, ending violence professionals and social workers, veterinarians, crown prosecutors and all animal welfare agencies, directly assisting the more than 3,900 women in shelters annually who own pets flee violence sooner and keep their pets with them. No animal will be left behind to suffer in harms way of an abuser and no woman has to return to an abuser to protect her pet.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).