54 to 71 percent of women seeking shelter from abuse report that their partner had threatened, injured, or killed one or more family pets;
More than 80 percent of family members being treated for child abuse also have abused animals. In two-thirds of these cases, an abusive parent had killed or injured a pet. In one-third of cases, a child victim continued the cycle of violence by abusing a pet.
Children learn about abuse by being its victim. They often fail to develop empathy, and without this key quality they cannot recognize their victims’ pain. When they begin to “act out” their abuse trauma, children first target animals. As adults, they find new victims among the most vulnerable – children, partners, and the elderly.
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