Human-Animal Violence

A significant body of research has identified a link between the violence against animals and the simultaneous or subsequent abuse of people, particularly women, children, and the elderly. Abusers may hurt animals before or alongside other people, and/or threaten, maim, and murder animals as strategies of control and domination, particularly in cases of interpersonal violence against women.

  • A bibliography of over 1,500 scholarly and mainstream publications about the human-animal violence link is available at


  • This special issue of Sheriff & Deputy magazine focuses on the human-animal violence link and law enforcement


A wheel divided into 8 parts is outlined in light blue with a white background. Cartoon outlines of a cat, bird, rabbit and dog sit on top of the wheel. The image has the title “The Power and Control Wheel of animal abuse and domestic violence.” Inside the first wedge of the wheel is “Using Children”. Harming / killing children’s pets to intimidate them. Blaming the “disappearance” of the family pet of the abused partner to create a wedge between parent and child. The second wedge is “Emotional Abuse”. Disappearing, giving away or killing pets to take away their source of unconditional love. Forced participation in animal sexual abuse. The third wedge is “Threats.” To harm or kill the family pet if abused partner leaves or asserts any independence. The fourth wedge is “Intimidation.” Harming or killing pet: “Next time it’ll be you.” Targeting pets of family / friends who aid abused partners escape The fifth wedge is “Isolation”. Refusing them to take the pet to the vet. Prohibiting them from socializing the dog. The sixth wedge is “Legal abuse”. Custody battles over pets. Filing theft charges if the abused partner leaves with the pets. The seventh wedge is “Economic Abuse”. Refusing to allow the abused partner to spend money on pet food or vet care. The eighth and last wedge is “Denying and blaming”. Blaming the abused partner or the pet for animal cruelty. Killing the pet and saying it didn’t matter because the pet was old.

Source: SPCA