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Examining violence directed at women and animals can inform the development of effective strategies to prevent such harm

Published Jun 3, 2024 at 4:00am

In a world where not everyone feels safe and respected, sexual violence and abuse remain significant global health issues. Intimate partner violence is prevalent in Canada, with nearly 80% of victims being women and girls. Similarly, more than half of women in the United States have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact.

There is a connection between the mistreatment of animals and violence against women. How a person treats animals can serve as an indicator of how they might treat women. Traditional notions of masculinity play a role here, influencing attitudes toward both women and animals. Challenging these traditional ideas is crucial, as they often lead to justifying violence against women.

Research shows that individuals who view animals negatively are more likely to support traditional masculinity. There is a specific link between violence against women and mistreatment of animals, particularly pets within the same household. Recognizing this connection can inform prevention strategies for sexual violence.

By understanding the intertwined attitudes toward animals and women, we can develop more effective intervention approaches. Resources related to the human-animal bond, pet well-being during relationship breakdowns, and emotional support animals can contribute to creating safer communities for everyone. Despite initial skepticism, exploring violence toward animals and women is essential for building respectful spaces and preventing harm.