Understanding the links: child abuse, animal abuse and domestic violence: Information for professionals

Transcript

1 Understanding the links child abuse, animal abuse and domestic violence Infor mation for professionals

2 “ We put a pet to sleep which had been neglected by its owners. Later those same people were jailed for neglecting a child. Could we have made a difference?". The Links Group has undertaken the development and distribution of this leaflet. The group includes representatives from: • Association of Chief Police Officers • Blue Cross British Small Animals Veterinary • Association (BSAVA) • eterinary Association British V (BVA) • Dogs T rust • Intervet UK Ltd • National Society for the Pr evention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) • Paws for Kids Peoples Dispensary for Sick • Animals (PDSA) • Refuge • Royal Society for the Pr evention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) • Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) • Women’s Aid Federation of England • The Young Abusers Project • British V eterinary Nurse Association 2

3 Introduction There is increasing research and clinical evidence which suggests that there are sometimes inter-relationships, commonly referred to as ‘links’, between the abuse of children, vulnerable adults and animals. A better understanding of these links can help to protect victims, both human and animal, and promote their welfare. What are the definitions? This leaflet is for professionals working with childr en, families or animals. Its purpose is to: Draw attention to an issue which has until recently been neglected in policy and professional practice. Outline current knowledge of the links. Explain what action to take if professionals have concerns about the abuse of children or animals. Suggest ways in which the links could be incorporated into working practices. “He held my daughters’ pets out of the upstairs window, and op them if we thr eatened to dr etur n home”. did not r 3

4 “Mummy shouted at us all the time. She made us leave our dog on its own when we went away. The dog was dead when we came back. I miss him so much”. Animal abuse Definitions of abuse are rarely straightforward. is the intentional harm of an animal. It includes, but is not limited to, They can vary over time and be affected by wilful neglect, inflicting injury, pain or cultural and societal norms. However, definitions are a useful starting point. distress, or malicious killing of animals. Domestic violence Child abuse is when someone causes is a pattern of behaviour which is characterised by the exercise of significant harm to a child or young person under 18 years of age. Significant harm control and the misuse of power by one occurs when a child’s physical, emotional, or person, usually a man, over another, usually mental health or development is impaired as a woman, within the context of a current or former intimate relationship. a consequence of abuse or neglect. The abuser is usually someone more powerful The abuse can be: physical, sexual, than the child or young person. Often it is an emotional and financial and it can include adult but it can be other children such as making a person socially isolated. others, sisters or friends. br Children and young people can suffer as a consequence of domestic violence occurring There are particular sources of stress within within their household. They may experience families that may affect the capacity of dir ect physical, sexual or emotional abuse, parents to respond to their child’s needs, and/or the abusive impact of witnessing or otection. s need for pr including the child’ e of abuse to a par being awar ent, who is Research indicates that such sources of usually their mother . str , ess may include the following: poverty domestic violence, the mental illness of a parent or carer, or where there is drug and (1) alcohol misuse. e: Four categories of child abuse ar Physical: includes hitting, shaking, poisoning, bur ning or dr owning. 1 2 Emotional: persistent ill treatment of a child which affects their emotional development; for example, making a child feel worthless, unloved or inadequate. 3 Sexual: involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities; for example, inappropriate touching, rape, buggery, exposure to indecent images, or encouraging sexualised behaviour. e to meet the physical and/or psychological needs of a child; Neglect: persistent failur 4 for example, failing to provide adequate food, warmth, shelter, clothing, emotional care or medical treatment. It also includes failing to provide adequate supervision and protection from physical danger which includes leaving a young child “home alone”. Three categories of animal abuse are: 1 Physical abuse: includes kicking, punching, throwing, burning, microwaving, drowning, asphyxiation, and the administration of drugs or poisons. Sexual: any use of an animal for sexual gratification. 2 3 Neglect: a failure to provide adequate food, water, shelter, companionship or 4 veterinary attention.

5 • Where an animal has been abused there What are the links? may in some circumstances be an The research evidence increased likelihood that the adults and Evidence of the links between child abuse, children in the household will have been animal abuse and domestic violence is (11) bitten or attacked by the abused pet. drawn mainly from studies in the USA, which • If a child exhibits extreme aggressive or relate to cases of serious abuse. There is a sexualised behaviour toward animals this growing research base in the United may in some cases be associated with Kingdom. Key findings include: later abuse of other childr en or If a child is cruel to animals this may be vulnerable adults unless the behaviour is • an indicator that serious neglect and (12/13) recognised and treated. abuse have been inflicted on the child From these and other studies it appears that (2/3) . While recent research in the UK animal abuse can be a part of a constellation suggests that animal abuse by children is of family violence, which can include child quite widespread, in a minority of more abuse and domestic violence. However, this extr eme cases it appears to be does not imply that children who are cruel to associated with abuse of the child, or animals necessarily go on to be violent subsequent abusive behaviour by the adults and adults who harm animals are not (4) child. necessarily also violent to their partners Wher e serious animal abuse has and/or children. Investigation and/or • occurred in a household there may be an assessment are key to determining whether incr eased likelihood that some other form ther e ar e any links between these factors , (5) of family violence is also occurring and the possible risks to the safety and and that any childr esent may also en pr en, adults and animals. e of childr welfar (6) be at increased risk of abuse. Acts of animal abuse may in some • Why is this issue important? cir cumstances be used to coer ce, control Abuse to children, vulnerable adults or and intimidate women and children to animals can have damaging and devastating remain in, or be silent about, their effects for both the victims, their families and . The threat or (7/8) abusive situation wider society . Policy and practice based on actual abuse of a pet can prevent women knowledge of the links may enable leaving situations of domestic violence. professionals to intervene earlier in order to (9) detect or prevent abuse to children, vulnerable adults and/or animals. Sustained childhood cruelty to animals • has been linked to an increased In order to achieve this it is essential that arrangements for co-operation and fending behaviour likelihood of violent of elevant communication between the r (10) against humans in adulthood. statutory and voluntary organisations are developed or enhanced. Traditionally organsiations that work with children or animals have been quite separate in the UK. 5

6 “The relationship of a child and its family to its family pets will tell you a great deal and should be included in any assessment of need”. Raise awareness of this issue within • How can knowledge of the possible local networks and projects as links be used in day to day practice? appr opriate, for example, within Area Here are some examples: Child Protection Committees/Local Children Safeguarding Boards and For professionals working with children Domestic Violence Fora – in order to and families consider the implications for policy and Incorporate questions and be observant • practice including information sharing. about the care and treatment of family • Consider the potential therapeutic pets in assessments of children and their aspects of pet ownership/care for families. Research indicates that most children who have experienced abuse or agencies do not routinely include cruelty loss in their lives. (16) to animals as part of their assessment (14) . Such information may provide useful For professionals working with animals data about family functioning and/or Report concer ns about child abuse to an • violence within the household. A appropriate authority as listed in this questionnaire which professionals may ding leaflet and follow the guidance accor find useful is available as an aid to the to your professional body. You may also (15) assessment process. seek advice fr opriate om an appr Incorporate questions about the • authority listed in the leaflet if you ar e behaviour of children or young people unsure what to do or have queries. towards animals within assessments of Discuss your concerns about animal • children or young people who are abuse with your line manager or a senior harming others. colleague. Safety planning with victims of domestic • • Report suspected animal abuse to the violence should include planning for the appropriate animal protection safety of any childr en and animals in the organisation or the police, according to household. ofessional body (e.g. the advice of your pr • While not making any assumptions, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons en who consider the possibility that childr ‘Guide to Professional Conduct’) and the e r ar epeatedly harming animals may have policy of your practice/organisation. been abused themselves or may be living • Raise awar eness of the possible links in a climate of violence. within local networks or associations in • Seek advice from the appropriate order to explore the implications for authorities (as listed within this leaflet) if policy and working practices including animal abuse is apparent within information sharing. a household. 6

7 How are the links being taken into What should I do if I suspect abuse account within the UK? is happening to children or animals? Some practical examples of how the links ofessionals may have concerns that abuse Pr ar e being acted upon in the UK are: en and/or animals. In is happening to childr cumstances it is best to discuss such cir • Protocols for information sharing (known such concerns with an appropriate authority as cross-reporting) between the police, that can make further inquiries if it is thought child and animal protection organisations necessary. Failure to do so may put a child are in operation in some areas; for and/or animal at risk of further harm. example, in Tayside, Scotland. • Conferences and seminars for professionals working with children or animals have been held in England and Can I share my concerns? Scotland to explore the possible links and the potential implications for Yes. Professionals working with children (17) practice. or animals should ensure they are familiar with their professional and/or agency’s A research study concerning the • protocols or procedures governing the identification of animal abuse has been disclosure of personal information to ; veterinary students are (18) completed e abuse to another agency in cases wher lear ning about its identification and the en or animals is suspected. childr links with child abuse and other forms of family violence. eport concer ns It can seem daunting to r to the appropriate authority. Fear of • Pet fostering schemes have been ‘getting it wr ong’ or a need to maintain established in some areas, for example, client confidentiality are factors which can ‘Paws For Kids’, to enable victims of fect our judgement. However af , personal domestic violence to leave home without information can be disclosed lawfully and fear of their animals being harmed. n about the e is serious concer fairly if ther A research project in the North of • safety of a child or an animal. As England is underway, funded by NSPCC. pr ofessionals we may only have one small piece of information. However, when this A multi-agency group was formed in • is added to others a fuller picture emerges 2002, known as ‘The Links Group’. Its which may indicate that risks of abuse to aim is to raise awareness of the links and childr en, animals or both are high - hence act as a network for the exchange of the importance of sharing concerns with ideas and developments. . Harming children or the r elevant authority osecutable e potentially pr animals ar offences in the UK. 7

8 “As a new veterinary graduate I saw a client hit her child on the face. I didn’t know whom to contact so I did nothing. This has haunted me for 20 years”. Concerns about child abuse can be reported to: Children’s Social Services Local authority social services departments (in England and Wales), or social work departments * (in Scotland), or health and social service trusts (in Northern Ireland), have a responsibility to take action to protect children and promote their e. They can arrange for families to receive welfar support. They also have a duty to inquire into concerns when a child may have been abused or may be at risk of abuse. Their details are available in the telephone ectory under the name of the local authority/ dir council/board/social services department. Details om local libraries, citizens ar e also available fr advice bureaux and telephone helplines. NSPCC Child Protection Helplines The NSPCC Child Protection Helpline is a free 24- ovides counselling, information hour service that pr and advice to anyone concerned about a child at risk of abuse. You can choose whether or not to identify yourself. You can call any time on or textphone, for people who are 0808 800 5000 . deaf or hard of hearing, on 0800 056 0566 Alternatively call: NSPCC Asian Child Pr otection Helpline Daddy was always drunk “ (Mon-Fri 11am-7pm) 0800 096 7719 and angry. He used to NSPCC Cymru/W ales Child kick the cat and hit Protection Helpline mummy. He scares me”. (Mon-Fri 10am-6pm) 0808 100 2524 * The terminology is changing. Local authority social service departments are also referred to 8 as Councils with Social Services Responsibility (CSSR).

9 Concerns about animal abuse can Advice concerning be reported to: domestic violence: Royal Society for the Prevention of If you, or somebody you know is Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) experiencing (or has experienced) physical, emotional, or sexual violence in the home Tel 0870 5555 999 (24 hour line covering England and Wales) you can obtain support, help and information from: Scottish Society for the Prevention of Northern Ireland Women’s Aid Federation Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) T el: 0870 7377 722 (24 hours) Tel: 028 9033 1818 Ulster Society for the Prevention of (10am - 4pm) Scottish Women’s Aid Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) el: 0131 475 2372 T T 08000 280010 el: (24 hour line covering Northern Ireland) elsh Women’s Aid W Cardiff – Tel: 029 2039 0874 Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Aberystwyth – T to Animals (ISPCA) el: 01970 612748 Tel: 003531 4977874 Rhyl – Tel: 01745 334767 eland) (covering The Republic of Ir Republic of Ireland National Network of s Refuges and Support Services omen’ W Tel: 003539 0279078 Concerns about child abuse, animal National Domestic Violence Helpline abuse and domestic violence: (24 hours) Police Tel: 0808 200 0247 In an emer , call the police on 999. gency Otherwise contact your local station. Additionally the following websites may be useful to you: ST CHILDREN 1 www .childr en1st.or g.uk Dogs Trust (Pet fostering) www.dogstrusthopeproject.org.uk NSPCC inform www .nspcc.or g.uk/inform W omen’s Aid Federation .womensaid.org.uk www www .rspca.org.uk RSPCA www.rcvs.org.uk RCVS PDSA www .pdsa.org.uk Refuge www .r efuge.or g.uk SSPCA www .scottishspca.or g/campaigns/firststrikescotland Paws for Kids (Pet fostering) www.pawsforkids.org.uk 9

10 “My ex-partner threatened to kill all our animals if we left... He beat my son’s dog in a rage, she was only trying to protect us. I tried to stop him so he beat me instead”. References Training Key, 526, pp.1 - 5. (Published by Department of Health, Home Office, 1 the International Association of Chief of Department for Education and Police). Employment (1999) Working Together to Safeguard Children: A Guide to Inter- Adams, C. J. (1998) ‘Bringing peace 8 Agency Working to Safeguard and home: a feminist philosophical Promote Welfare of Children, London: perspective on the abuse of women, The Stationery Office. children and animals’, in Lockwood, R. and Ascione, F. R. (eds.)(1998) Cruelty to Tapia, F. (1971) ‘Children who are cruel to 2 Animals and Interpersonal Violence: animals’, Journal of the American Readings in Research and Application, Academy of Child Psychiatry, 22, Indiana: Purdue University Press, pp. 318 pp. 68 - 72. - 340. Friedrich, W 3 . N., Ur quiza, A. J. and 9 Ascione, F.R. (1998) ‘Battered women’s Beilke, R. L. (1986) ‘Behaviour problems r eports of their partners’ and their in sexually abused young children’, children’s cruelty to animals’, Journal of Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 11, Emotional Abuse, 1 (1), pp. 119 - 33. pp. 47 - 57. Merz-Perez, L., Heide, K.M. and 10 Piper, H. and Johnson, M., Myers, S., 4 Silverman, I. J. (2001) ‘Childhood cruelty and Pritchard, J. (2001) Why Do People to animals and subsequent violence Harm Animals? The Children’s and Young against humans’, International Journal of Persons’ Perspective, Manchester fender Therapy and Comparative Of Metropolitan University and RSPCA. Criminology, 45 (5), 2001, pp. 556 - 573. 5 DeViney, E. Dickert, J. and Lockwood, R. 11 De Viney et al (1983) op cit. (1983) ‘The care of pets within child abusing families’, International Journal 12 Duffield, G., Hassiotis, A. and Vizard, E. for the Study of Animal Problems, 4, (1998) ‘Zoophilia in young sexual pp. 321 - 9. ensic Psychiatry nal of For abusers’, Jour , 9 (2), pp. 294 - 304. Hutton, J.S. (1983) ‘Animal abuse as a 6 oach in social work: a diagnostic appr pilot study’, in Lockwood, R. and Ascione, F.R. (eds.)(1998) Cruelty to iolence: Animals and Interpersonal V Readings in Research and Application, Indiana: Purdue University Press, pp.415 - 420. Ponder, C. and Lockwood, R. (2000) 7 ‘Cruelty to animals and family violence’, 10

11 13 Ascione, F.R. (1993) ‘Children who are cruel to animals: a review of research and implications for developmental psychopathology’, Anthr ozoos, 6, pp. 226 - 47. Bell, L. (2001) ‘Abusing Children - 14 Abusing Animals’, Jour nal of Social Work, 1(2), pp. 223 - 234. 15 Boat, W.B., (1999) ‘Abuse of Children and Abuse of Animals: Using the links to inform child assessment and protection’, in Ascione, F.R. and Arkow, P. (eds.) (1999) Child Abuse, Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse: Linking the Circles of Compassion for Prevention and Intervention, Indiana: Pur due University Press. 16 Bond, H. (2002) ‘Pet pr ojects’ in CareandHealth Magazine, December 11th, Issue 26, pp. 46 - 47. NSPCC/RSPCA (2001) Making the Links 17 (confer ence r eport). Intervet UK Ltd ging the Links (confer ence (2001) For papers), Intervet UK ltd. 18 Munro, H. M. C. and Thrusfield M.V. “The kiddie next door often looks ed pets: features that raise (2001) ‘Batter suspicion of non-accidental injury’, dirty and has sor es on his face. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 42, pp. He gets left alone in the 218 - 226. evenings. The dog is usually tied up in the backyard; he looks scrawny and I’ve seen him being beaten with a chain”. 11

12 "Animals and children have one thing in common - they're both easy to hurt. Maltreatment of animals in a family can sound a warning bell that children are also at risk. We need to recognise the links". This leaflet is available to download in pdf format from www.nspcc.org.uk/inform Further copies of this leaflet can be ed fr or der om: NSPCC Publications Weston House, 42 Curtain Road London EC2A 3NH Up to 5 copies free: with an A4 SAE (with four first class stamps). Above 5 copies: 40p per copy. Tel: 020 7825 7422 Fax: 020 7825 2763 Email: [email protected] g.uk National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Weston House 42 Curtain Road London EC2A 3NH 020 7825 2525 020 7825 2500 Tel: Fax: Email: www.nspcc.org.uk Web: [email protected] Photography by Paul Close - Child and dog models have been used in the photography Stores Code: 0546 Registered charity number 216401

Related documents

Financial Abuse of Elderly People vs. Other Forms of Elder Abuse: Assessing Their Dynamics, Risk Factors, and Society’s Response

Financial Abuse of Elderly People vs. Other Forms of Elder Abuse: Assessing Their Dynamics, Risk Factors, and Society’s Response

The author(s) shown below used Fede ral funds provided by the U.S. Department of Justice and prepared the following final report: Document Title: Financial Abu se of Elderly People vs. Other Forms of ...

More info »
the nature and scope of sexual abuse of minors by catholic priests and deacons in the united states 1950 2002

the nature and scope of sexual abuse of minors by catholic priests and deacons in the united states 1950 2002

195o THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS BY CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND DEACONS IN THE UNITED STATES 195O-2OO2 2oo2 A RESEARCH STUDY CONDUCTED BY THE JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE THE CITY ...

More info »
World Report 2018 Book

World Report 2018 Book

A M U H N S T H G I R C W A T H D R E P O O R T| 2 0 1 8 W R L S 7 0 2 O 1 T N E V E F

More info »
Child Maltreatment 2016

Child Maltreatment 2016

Child Maltreatment 2016 th th Y Y 25 27 G G E E N N A A I I R R T T O O R R F F O O P P R R E E U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Administration for Children and Families Administration on Ch...

More info »
Implementation Handbook For The Convention On The Rights Of The Child

Implementation Handbook For The Convention On The Rights Of The Child

IMPLEMENTATION HANDBOOK FOR THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD FULLY REVISED THIRD EDITION IMPLEMENTATION HANDBOOK IMPLEMENTATION HANDBOOK FOR THE CONVENTION ON THE FOR THE CONVENTION ON THE RI...

More info »
G:\COMP\PHSA\PHSA.bel

G:\COMP\PHSA\PHSA.bel

G:\COMP\PHSA\PHSA-MERGED.XML PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ACT [As Amended Through P.L. 115–408, Enacted December 31, 2018] References in brackets ¿ ø¿ ø are to title 42, United States Code TITLE I—SHORT TITL...

More info »
as a good parent would

as a good parent would

“...as a good parent would...” Inquiry into the adequacy of the provision of residential care services to Victorian children and young people who have been subject to sexual abuse or sexual exploitati...

More info »
TIP 35 Enhancing Motivation For Change in Substance Abuse Treatment

TIP 35 Enhancing Motivation For Change in Substance Abuse Treatment

Substance and Mental Health Abuse Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Enhancing Motivation For Change in Substance Abuse Treatment Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series ...

More info »
Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese and dioceses in Illinois

Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese and dioceses in Illinois

The Anderson Report Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese and Dioceses in Illinois AndersonAdvocates.com • AbusedinChicago.com • 312.515.5771

More info »
Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

STATE STATUTES Current Through April 2016 WHAT’S INSIDE Types of abuse Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect Standards for reporting Child abuse and neglect are defined by Federal and Persons respons...

More info »
Home Study Requirements for Prospective Foster Parents

Home Study Requirements for Prospective Foster Parents

STATE STATUTES Current Through February 2018 WHAT’S INSIDE Personal qualifications Home Study Requirements for Prospective Foster Training requirements Parents Minimum standards for foster homes The S...

More info »
CFOC4 pdf  FINAL

CFOC4 pdf FINAL

National Health and Safety Performance Standards • Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 4th Edition Caring for Our Children Caring for Our Children Caring for Our National Health and Safe...

More info »
AAZ2.indd

AAZ2.indd

Confronting Partner Abuse in Activist Communities 1

More info »
The Role of First Responders in Child Maltreatment Cases: Disaster and Nondisaster Situations

The Role of First Responders in Child Maltreatment Cases: Disaster and Nondisaster Situations

CHILD ABUSE NEGLECT AND MANUAL USER SERIES S. Department of H e U. and Human Ser v ic es alth Administration for Ch ild ren and Families Administration Childr en , Youth and Families on Child re n' s ...

More info »
PL102 321

PL102 321

106 STAT. 323 PUBLIC 10,1992 LAW 102-321-JULY Law Public 102-321 102d Congress An Act Drug Health Act to restructure amend Alcohol, Service Abuse, Public To the the 10,1992 July and Mental of such Adm...

More info »
Through the Eyes of the Child Barries to Access to Justice thematic report

Through the Eyes of the Child Barries to Access to Justice thematic report

Through the Eyes of the Child: Barriers to Access to Justice and Remedies for Child Victims of Sexual Exploitation Interviews with Survivors and Professionals in the Criminal Justice Systems of Nepal,...

More info »