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Bad to the Bone: The Interconnectedness of Pet Abuse, Child Abuse,
and Partner Abuse

Andrew Campbell, Campbell Research & Consulting

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Based on the presenter’s recent publications in Social Sciences (2022), the Journal of Interpersonal Violence (2021 & 2020), Forensic Science International: Animals and Environments (2021), and book on the topic (2021), this presentation will describe the specific emotional and physical risks of harm for all children, adults, and animals residing in homes where family violence occurs. Key points of emphasis include protecting pets to best protect their humans too, improved attention to and understanding of the damaging effects of emotional abuse, and the need to expand community partnerships to include critical (often left out) organizations in the fight to end family violence.

In addition to increased risk for victims, concerns for the safety of first responders at the scene of these incidents will also be addressed. Key concepts including how DV perpetrator pet abuse may signal increased risk for police officers and others involved in cases of family violence will be explored. Spatial mapping data from a partnership between the presenter, child welfare agencies, and law enforcement agencies in several communities will be highlighted to help visualize the overlapping nature of various forms of family violence. Finally, key differences in report sources for various forms of family violence will be explored.

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