Each time that we learn about an animal cruelty incident our instant feeling of sadness is quickly replaced with anger. It may be that we react so strongly to these awful events, more so than we would react to other cases, because our instincts tell us that someone who dares hurt or abuse a helpless and much weaker being, is the most dangerous of individuals. Perhaps that isn’t the case, however numerous studies proved that animal cruelty is directly linked to all kinds of criminal violence against human beings, making these people a threat to our own safety as well.
The Humane Society of the United States crafted a document called First Strike: The
Violence Connection that proves this face by relying on multiple studies that show that animal cruelty is linked to violence against people, private property violation, and drug crimes.
More findings revealed that pets are most frequently the first victims in criminal’s violence history. Animal cruelty is therefore a clear sign that could be effectively used to detect domestic violence or dangerous behavior in young individuals.
Pets are not only the first victims of violence in a distressed household, but they are also used as a way of control or manipulate the human target. In this context, it is not a surprise that more than 80% of women living in shelters due to domestic abuse witnessed their partners threatening to murder, or even killing, the family pet.
When it comes to families where cases of child abuse have already been reported, the findings are even more conclusive. In almost 90% of these families, the pet was also victim of abuse. In a more broader aspect, animal neglect could also be considered as an alarming sign and the first evidence of trouble within household, allowing professionals to prevent domestic violence.
The real advantage of early detection of family distress is preventing not only animal or child abuse, but also reduce the likelihood of future criminal conduct in youth. Animal abuse, which is associated with a context of family violence, is often related to a variety of other criminal activities as well. Children who experience violent situations regularly and are exposed to animal cruelty are more prone to suffering or inflicting violence.
If the great tools offered by our times to humanity were not used to solve issues taking into account cultural diversity, this will only create clashes and division, making the train of human evolution derail off the tracks. Humans now have the opportunity to approach, understand, respect and work together towards a more just world for all species. Let’s not waste it.
To read First Strike: The Violence Connection Document