Pets may become victims of family break-ups.  To assist pets and those who care for their pets, over the next four years, the State Government of Victoria has pledged to provide $100,000 to the family violence response service, Safe Steps,.  The funding is to build relationships with animal welfare agencies such as the RCPCA and family violence services.

A 2012 report provided to the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges in New Zealand found cruelty to pets was most commonly reported as a form of punishment.

“Cruelty involved injury or death of an animal in retribution for a family member’s unsatisfactory behaviour,” the report found. “As such, animal cruelty was orchestrated to directly hurt the woman and child(ren). The outcome of the abuse was a level of intimidation that secured the families’ compliance and obedience for fear that a cherished animal would be beaten or killed.”

Further information is available at:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jul/05/pets-family-violence-victims-offered-protection-victoria