Family Violence and Animal Abuse in Spain
Querol, N., Cuquerella, A., Ascione, F., Tedeschi P., Pinizzotto A., Pujol, S., Carrasco D., Rubira, S., Moratalla, PJ., Puccia, A. "Family Violence and Animal Abuse in Spain". American Society of Criminology Meeting, November 2013, Atlanta.
Over the past 25 years, researchers and professionals in a variety of human services and animal welfare disciplines have established significant correlations between animal abuse, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, elder abuse and other forms of violence. There is small data in Spain regarding the role of companion animals within family violence. For that purpose, we conducted 38 interviews to women victims of domestic violence detected from several settings (Primary Care, Emergency Room, Mental Health Services, Law –Enforcement). 78% of pet-owning women report that their companion animals had been abused/killed by their abuser (partner or son/daughter). For 86% of the children/youngsters the companion animals were a source of comfort and love. In the 4 cases where the animal abusers were the son/daughter, they also abused their parents. A 8-year old child who is being abused by the father killed a companion fish and tried to kill a canary. He also presents enuresis, fascination for fire, self-harm and bullying and has been diagnosed with conduct disorder, Oppositional defiant disorder, Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, and psychopathic traits.. The three other are young women aged 19, 20 and 21 diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.