Recently, studies are finding that the tactic of hurting someone's beloved pet in order to hurt the owner can be a warning sign of domestic violence. For example, in 2007 a New Jersey man killed his family dog after his wife asked him for a divorce as a means of effectively hurting her.
Ida Petkus, director of the Domestic Violence Advocacy Center in Mount Holly, New Jersey states, "The bond between pets and their owners can be very strong, which is exactly why an abuser knows they can exploit the victim's love of a pet by threatening to injure the animal if the victim speaks up".
When one form of abuse is present others forms often are as well. As such, abuse experts and animal advocates are suggesting that law enforcement officials become more widely trained across areas in order to recognize the signs of possible domestic violence.
Thomas Keen Jr., a New Jersey senator, argues, "Not only is there a very strong correlation between those that would abuse their pets and those that would abuse others, but in addition, what we have found is the abusers use the pet as an instrument of control over their family members".
If you or someone you love is a victim of domestic violence contact the Raleigh domestic violence attorneys of Marshall & Taylor P.C. at 919-833-1040 to learn more about your rights.