Research has shown there is a link between violence against humans and violence against animals/pets.
Over the last several years, there has been an increase in research dedicated to understanding “the link” between violence against humans and violence against animals and pets. (Check out this website for more information). What has been found is that there is a strong correlation between the two. This means that if there is one type of violence, there is a higher likelihood of the other occurring as well. This can be due to several reasons, but a specifically relevant reason is that perpetrators will use violence against animals as a threat or other means of harm to their victims. For us at VSC and in the veterinarian field at large, this means that if we see animal abuse or cruelty, we become concerned for the family of the owner. Below are some resources for anyone who may be experiencing domestic violence or is concerned for a loved one.
Domestic Violence Assistance
IL Domestic Violence Hotline – 877.863.6338
Text START to 88788
Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence – call 217.789.2830
National Hotline – 800.799.7233
A Safe Place – 24-Hour Crisis Line: (847) 249-4450 or 1-800-600-SAFE or TTY: 847-249-6557
Sarah’s Inn – 708.386.4225 or text 708.669.6149
Wings Program – 847.221.5680
Pillars Community Health – 708.485.5254
On-Site & Off-Site Housing for People with Pets
Both of these organizations provide a database with search options of shelters that provide either on-site or off-site housing for pets for domestic violence survivors.
Sexual Assault Assistance
Chicago Hotline – 888.293.2080
National Hotline – 800.656.4673
Pillars Community Health– 708.482.9600
Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence
According to the American Addiction Centers (AAC), 80% of domestic violence crimes are related to the use of drugs. This tragic pairing of substance abuse and domestic violence is a major problem and those who are struggling need support. Here are some resources:
- Female Domestic Violence and Alcohol Abuse discusses substance abuse and domestic violence, the potential risk factors for domestic violence, and how to get help for yourself or someone you love.
- Understanding the Connection Between Drug Addiction, Alcoholism, and Violence provides information on how to separate yourself from an abusive home and statistics on violent crimes, driving while intoxicated, and drug-induced violence on college campuses.
- Alcoholism and Family/Marital Problems looks at how alcohol abuse ruins relationships, brings financial troubles, the impact it has on children, and the risk of domestic violence.
- Violence Prevention Resources on how to prevent violence, stages of treatment, and local options for those who are struggling.
ACC also hosts free virtual support and online addiction meetings that many individuals use to help support their recovery. Those hoping to find help in their local areas can also use their free directory to locate the nearest treatment facilities or they can use the free text line to start the road to recovery.
If you are considering leaving, prepare an overnight bag and keep it in a safe, but an accessible place for you (and your children if you have any). Include:
- Money, checkbook, bank cards, credit cards
- Driver’s License/passport, social security cards, birth certificates
- Public aid cards/green cars/visas/work permits
- Orders of protection, marriage and/or divorce papers
- Medications, medical records
- Phone and keys
- Insurance cards/paperwork
- Address book
If you can beforehand, open a bank account and begin saving under your name. Get a PO box to have mail sent there. Consider getting an order of protection with the police. Keep pictures or other records of the abuse for when/if you report to the authorities. Anything that you can do privately to create or maintain separation can be helpful.
Finally, know that you are not alone. There is support for you one way or another. Feel free to research these organizations from a safe computer, maybe at a friend’s house or the library.