Violence against animals and violence against people are not distinct and separate problems. Rather, they are part of a larger pattern of violent crimes that often co-exist. Research shows a significant correlation between animal cruelty and crimes of domestic violence, the physical and sexual abuse of children, sexual assault and other violent crimes. This emerging concept that looks at the relationship between violence against animals and people is commonly known as the violence link and has evolved to encompass prevention and intervention practices to reduce vulnerability in animals and humans.
On December 4-6 2017, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies will host the first national conference on the link between animal abuse and human abuse: The CFHS Canadian Link Conference. This conference will highlight the latest research and promising new practices to advance the criminal justice and social services system responses to the violence link, bringing together the field’s leading experts in the areas of law, enforcement, behaviour, interpersonal violence and social services. More than 200 people from across Canada will attend to focus on how law enforcement, social services, community resources, municipal/provincial/federal government services, animal welfare organizations and veterinarians can work together on these issues. The conference will examine the link between violence against humans and animals, looking at the vulnerabilities in both populations and how various sectors can learn from each other to gather the necessary tools to stop the cycle of violence. When we pool this expertise, it’s sure to lead to powerful insights and more effective strategies to end violence against people and animals.
Participants of the conference will gain:
- An understanding of the roots of animal abuse and neglect and the connection of such crimes to interpersonal and societal violence
- An ability to identify the indicators of animal abuse and the steps to investigation and prosecution of these crimes
- An ability to identify the indicators of interpersonal violence and the steps to responding
- Skills to examine the correlation between human vulnerability and animal vulnerability
- The opportunity to explore community-level partnerships involving prosecutors, animal welfare organizations, social service providers, veterinarians, municipal/provincial/federal governments, the courts and law enforcement agencies
- The opportunity to create new networks and relationships that will enhance their work toward ending violence
- The opportunity to found a national coalition to work on cross-sectoral collaboration