Free cat fostering service in Sussex recently received a grant of more than £11,000 to help domestic violence victims and their pets
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Chelwood Gate is a small village within the civil parish of Danehill in the Wealden district of East Sussex, England. It’s home to Paws Protect at Cats Protection, a pet fostering service for families escaping domestic violence.

domestic violence pets

Katy Bourne, Bev Russell Rose, Abram from Paws Protect (Photo Steve Robards)

The free cat fostering service recently received a grant of more than £11,000 from the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner’s Safe Place Sussex Funding Network. The volunteer project available in the county is the first of its kind and ensures a safe place for the pet until the owner can get into a safe place.

I wanted to write on this because domestic violence is a topic that should be acknowledged and discussed openly, especially when a pet is involved. Abusers commonly use a pet to ensure the abused stays in the home.

abused pets

photo courtesy Step Up For Paws

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said in an interview with Worthing Herald

“Paws Protect is a great example of an innovative local project that aims to help victims and protect those experiencing domestic violence. “Disturbingly, it has become apparent that, within domestic abuse situations, offenders often threaten or even kill the victim’s pets as an emotional control mechanism.

abused pets statistics

Statistics (photo Crowder Sentry)

I am pleased to support a charity that recognizes this issue and gives victims the peace of mind they need in order to distance themselves from their abuser and seek help in the knowledge that their pet has been safeguarded.”

Commissioner Bourne has met with the team at Cats Protection and is thankful for the positive impact the team has made in addressing the challenges of domestic abuse in Sussex.

Most areas now have programs in place to help victims and their furry companions escape an abusive relationship. It’s important to get out before violence escalates.

Don’t think your ending will be different. Listen to your friends who warn you to get out. I’ve covered many stories where the pet was killed in the home, or the pet witnessed the murder of the owner.

Articles related to criminal domestic violence

Protecting victims and their companion animals in domestic violence situations – PAWS

Cat shelters could offer cat foster care to victims of domestic violence

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