“Because I love my dog, Miriam, so much, I was not looking forward to these videos. Some of them I had to fast forward. I can't even watch the dog abuse commercials on TV. Miriam is my best friend, and I cannot imagine hurting her or neglecting her. I would not let anyone hurt her. ”
What is animal abuse (behaviors/types)? What are the arguments to include animals in family violence issues? What are your thoughts on this?
Animal abuse is when someone hurts an animal or does not care for the animal responsively. This includes not providing shelter, leaving the animal to starve, lack of grooming, and/or neglect to disease. Dog fighting (or watching any other animals fight to the death for entertainment) is also considered animal abuse.
Phil Arkow from the National Link Coalition said, "When animals are abused, people are at risk. When people are abused, animals are at risk." It is important to look at animal abuse when looking at IPV, child abuse, and/or elderly abuse because there is a correlation between the four areas.
When a pet is in the family, the abuser can use to it control their victim, isolate their victim, keep their victim in the home, keep the victim from disclosing abuse, express rage, punish and terrorize the victim by stalking and executing the animal, and forcing the victim to abuse the animal. Often victims of abuse will stay in the home to stay with their beloved pet.
I understand the correlation. The training video said that 80% of people consider their pet a family member. I know I do. She's my favorite family member. So, the love of an animal can be used against a person in the same way an abuser can use the children.
What are the impacts of animal abuse on children? Why should animal abuse be considered an ACE? What is the relationship between animal abuse and other violent behaviors?
There is an Intergenerational Cycle of violence. If a child is exposed to DV and animal abuse, the child will grow up to be violent and become a DV batterer. An animal will be harmed or threatened in their home, and the survivor will stay, which will expose their child to DV and animal abuse. It should be considered an ACE because it is incredibly significant to psychological development. According to the training, 62-76% of animal abuse in the home occurs in the presence of children. This will impact their development and their health.
Children may harm animals for power and control in a situation they are constantly out of control of (their own abuse or witnessing abuse in the home. Abusing animals is the earliest symptom of conduct disorder. So viewing animal abuse leads children to violent behavior as well as other psychological problems.
Reflect on your learning experience for this module
How did this module's content relate to prior courses or your own experiences?
I did not like the content of this unit. It makes me incredibly sad. It's not that the other kind of abuse and violence don't make me sad; it does. It's just something about animals being hurt that really gets to me. I'm as protective of my dog as I am my son. I did not have a lot of prior experience with this content (other than the really sad commercials on TV). I tend to avoid the topic.
Overall, what did you think of the module and interactivities this week? What were your favorite activities? What activities did you dislike or were unclear?
The Discord made me happy because I love showing off Miriam. She makes me so happy that I want to share her with others to make her happy. There was nothing wrong with the activities or how the content was presented. I just didn't like the topic. It was very sad. The training was interesting to watch because it connected animal abuse to everything else we have been learning.