First-ever conference of its kind makes the link between violence against people and animals

Ottawa – May 3, 2017 – The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) is pleased to announce the first-ever national conference dedicated to exploring The Violence Link, set to take place in Ottawa on December 5 and 6, 2017.

“This kind of conversation is long overdue – by working separately to end violence against people and animals, we’re limiting our effectiveness in both areas,” says Barbara Cartwright, CEO of CFHS. “This conference is our response to a call for more collaboration to better recognize and address the patterns of violence that threaten us all. It is the gathering place we need to bring together all of the professionals working to address violence and abuse in Canada.”

ABOUT THE VIOLENCE LINK

We often think of violence against animals and violence against people as separate, but there is a proven link between the two. This can manifest in many ways, including a pet being harmed or killed after a woman leaves an abusive relationship, or a serial killer who practices abuse on animals before moving on to human beings. Over the last decade, this mutual vulnerability to violence has come to be known as The Violence Link. We now know that, not only does animal abuse co-exist with human abuse, but it can predict future violence against human beings. In fact, animal abuse is more clearly correlated to family violence than mental illness, drinking or drug abuse (Dealing with Animal Abuse to Alleviate Family Violence. Zorza, Joan. Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly. Spring 2010. Vol. 2 Issue 4, page 345). We can no longer deny this link, and the Canadian Link Conference seeks to find ways to improve our response to all kinds of abuse in Canada.

FACTS AND STATS ON THE VIOLENCE LINK

  • Perpetrators of violence, in addition to subjecting violence and abuse on their human victims, will sometimes neglect, harm or kill companion animals or livestock as a method of control or revenge.
  • An Alberta study showed that 35% of women who owned animals and had escaped abusive relationships faced an act of harm or threat of harm to their livestock or pets while they were in the relationship (Alberta SPCA, August 2013).
  • 43% of school shooters have histories of animal cruelty. (Arluke & Madfis, 2013)
  • 24% of children in homes with domestic violence reported that someone had threatened to, and/or saw or heard someone, kill or harm an animal. (Faver & Strand, 2003)
  • Sexually abused children are 5 times more likely to abuse an animal. (Ascione et al., 2003)

 

ABOUT THE 2017 CFHS CANADIAN LINK CONFERENCE

The 2017 CFHS Canadian Link Conference will provide new channels to advance our collective work against all forms of abuse in Canada. This conference will focus on the link between violence against animals and people, looking at how the patterns of violence and vulnerability connect and intersect. We’ll be exploring how law enforcement, social services, community groups and animal welfare organizations can more effectively work together to address preventable violence in Canada. When we pool this expertise, it’s sure to lead to powerful insights and more effective strategies to end violence against both people and animals.

Who is this conference for? Police officers, police chiefs and administrators, paramedics and other first responders, enforcement staff at humane societies and SPCAs, veterinarians, Crown Prosecutors, the Judiciary, politicians, bureaucrats, social workers, social service providers and other front-line workers, and interested members of the public.

ABOUT THE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF HUMANE SOCIETIES

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies convenes Canada’s largest animal welfare community, representing 50 humane societies and SPCAs across Canada. As Canada’s voice for animal welfare, we drive positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals. We’ll be exploring how law enforcement, social services, community organizations and animal welfare organizations can more effectively work together to address preventable violence in communities across Canada.

For more information or media passes, contact:

Luna Allison
Communications and Marketing Manager
Canadian Federation of Humane Societies
613.224.8072
lunaa@cfhs.ca

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First-ever conference of its kind makes the link between violence against people and animals
First-ever conference of its kind makes the link between violence against people and animals
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