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The Violence link is the relationship between violence against people and animals.

Research shows that violence toward people (interpersonal violence) and violence toward animals (animal cruelty) are part of a larger pattern of violent crimes that co-exist. Cases of inter-partner and gender-based violence, sexual abuse and child abuse (including child sexual abuse), gang violence, youth crime, organized crime, assault, homicide, weapons and illicit drugs also commonly involve animal abuse

The Canadian Violence Link Coalition

The Canadian Violence Link Coalition (CVLC), formed in 2017 recognizes the link between interpersonal abuse and animal abuse as well as the intersection of vulnerabilities in both populations. Despite evidence illustrating that better outcomes are achieved when a cross-sectoral approach is adopted, animal abuse and human abuse are legislated for and dealt with separately. Further, lack of awareness, education and training on the Violence Link inhibits collaboration between sectors.

The CVLC’s purpose is to bring together stakeholders interested in confronting the human-animal Violence Link to bring about systemic, lasting change by:

  • Engaging with law and policymakers on relevant legislative and policy developments that recognize the Violence Link

  • Advancing awareness about the Violence Link among stakeholders through educational and awareness campaigns, conferences, workshops and other similar initiatives

  • Advancing awareness of the Violence Link and available resources among the Canadian public, for example with respect to specific Violence Link cases

  • Encouraging a cross-sectoral approach by providing resources and tools for regional coalitions and networks which address the Violence Link on a community basis, such as cross reporting tools

If you are interested in learning more about the work of the CVLC and/or joining the CVLC, please contact our CJSR Program Manager, Kerri Thomson at

CVLC Newsletter

New as of 2021, we are pleased to bring you the Canadian Violence Link Coalition Newsletter:

ACT (Awareness, Collaboration, Tools) Project for Women with Animals Experiencing Gender-Based Violence

The ACT (Awareness, Collaboration, Tools) Project aims to address systemic barriers to help-seeking, safety planning and support services for women with animals (companion, farm, and service) experiencing Gender-Based Violence. This project falls under the scope of Humane Canada’s National Programs Department, which includes the groundbreaking Criminal Justice System Reform Program which integrates the Canadian Violence Link Coalition (CVLC), the National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty (NCPAC) and the legislative and policy changes needed to support the goals of the NCPAC and CVLC.  

To contribute to lasting systemic change, the ACT Project is building on the foundational work of the CVLC to confront the human-animal Violence Link by raising awareness, improving cross-sector collaboration and offering practical options, response policies, and improved support systems.  

During this 3-year project, Humane Canada has engaged key multi-sectoral stakeholders from the help-seeking and safety-planning sectors, including women’s shelters, anti-violence organizations, social services, child protection organizations, law enforcement, veterinary professionals, and animal welfare services. The project also seeks to address the needs of underrepresented groups of women with animals experiencing Gender-Based Violence, including survivors, Indigenous women, rural women, and women in the Official Language Minority Community (OLMC).  

two dog paws on human hand

Interested in learning more about this exciting initiative or getting involved?

Please get in touch with the ACT Program Manager, Sue O’Neill