The statistics are scary. Domestic violence has increased since the COVID19 quarantine has forced abusers and victims to share the same space, often with deadly results.
11 Alive News reported statistics from the Atlanta, Georgia police department showing domestic violence crimes are up 42% while other crimes such as murder, manslaughter, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and arson are down 26%.
Up to 48% of pet-owning victims of domestic violence delay leaving their abuser because they are afraid to leave their pet behind. The reason many refuse to leave is because at this time less than 10% of the domestic violence shelters in the United States accept pets. Ten percent is a number two well-respected companies hope to change.
The Purina Purple Leash Project and RedRover recently teamed up to offer grants as an extension of RedRover’s Safe Housing program where their combined efforts hope to provide U.S. domestic violence shelters that are pet-friendly by the end of 2025. Purple Leash Project grants, up to $20,000, are offered throughout the United States with a goal of 25% of domestic violence shelters accepting pets.
RedRover was founded in 1987. Their mission is to bring animals out of crisis and strengthen the human-animal bond through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. RedRover Relief Safe Housing makes grants for off-site building enable domestic violence shelters available in their partnership with local organizations such as an animal shelter or rescue sanctuary.
The RedRover Safe Escape grant program also helps families with pets safely escape domestic violence together. Funding is mainly provided to help with the cost of temporary pet boarding while a client is in a domestic violence shelter, though other costs associated with boarding (like vaccinations) can be considered. They’re busy working to ensure that every state has a pet-friendly domestic violence shelter by the end of 2020.
Thirty-two percent of battered women also reported their child has battered or killed an animal. With 75% of family violence spilling onto the family pet and witnessed by a child, studies show the child who witnesses animal abuse is three times more likely to grow up as an abuser.
If you won’t leave an abusive relationship for your own safety or that of your pet, please leave for your child. The Michigan State University Animal Legal and Historical Center has an excellent article by Mellisa Trollinger titled The Link Among Animal Abuse, Child Abuse, and Domestic Violence.
The resources are out there, along with people who are trained and willing to help.
Below are some links to learn more.
For immediate help 24/7 please call 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)