Canadian Violence Link Coalition

What is the Violence Link?

The relationship between violence against people and animals is commonly known as the Violence Link. Evidence-based research shows that violence against animals and violence against people are not distinct or separate problems. Rather, they are part of a larger pattern of violent crimes that often co-exist. Cases of partner abuse, gang violence, youth crime, assault, homicide, sexual assault and child abuse also commonly include animal abuse.

The Canadian Violence Link Coalition (CVLC) was formed in 2018 as a result of issues brought forward at Humane Canada’s 2017 Canadian Violence Link Conference. The CVLC is committed to advancing awareness, education and training about the link between violence against humans and violence against animals. The CVLC’s goal is to introduce violence prevention and intervention strategies across the country and to establish policies and practices that make our communities safer.

If you are interested in learning more about the work of the CVLC and/or in joining the CVLC, please contact the Program Manager:

CVLC Newsletter

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

Violence Link Projects Underway

  • The National Violence Link Conference
  • Regional Violence Link Workshops
  • Violence Link Training for police officers across the country
  • An amendment to section 160 of the Criminal Code of Canada (bestiality)
  • Adding training on the Violence Link into Bill C-3 on judicial training
  • Amending ViCLAS book to add animal abuse questions
  • Amending threat assessment questionnaires to add animal abuse questions
  • The National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty (NCPAC) including the annual prosecution of animal abuse conference
  • Judicial training on the Violence Link, spearheaded by The Honourable Michael A. Kelen, Retired Justice of the Federal Court of Canada
  • Tracking the reporting and prosecution of animal abuse and violence link crimes (via Humane Canada’s Measuring Progress Toward a Humane Canada legal keystones)


  • The Violence Link – Review of the Literature
  • Incorporating the LINK into Social Work & Violence Against Women Shelters including intake questions
  • Saskatchewan SPCA’s Violence Link Website
  • Animal and Interpersonal Abuse Research Group (AIPARG) Website
  • National Link Coalition Website (Violence Link Coalition in the USA)
  • CVLC Speaker’s Bureau – we have a rota of speakers available to present to your organisation on the Violence Link. Please get in touch:

Members of the  Canadian Violence Coalition Steering Committee

  • Destiny Bedwell – Communications and Marketing Coordinator, Ontario 211 Service
  • Rhianydd Bellis – BC Crown Counsel
  • Hannah Brown (Co-Chair) – Manager, Criminal Justice System Reform Program, Humane Canada™
  • Barbara Cartwright – Chief Executive Officer, Humane Canada™
  • Dr. Kendra Coulter – Associate Professor, Brock University
  • Tara Dobec – Assistant Crown Attorney, Ontario
  • Kathy Duncan  – Manager, Animal Services, City of Brampton
  • Dr. Amy Fitzgerald  – Professor, University of Windsor
  • Christine Hartig – Strategic Support Officer, By-law and Regulatory Services, City of Ottawa
  • The Hon. Michael A. Kelen – Retired Justice of the Federal Court of Canada
  • Louise Lathey (Co-Chair)  – Outreach Specialist in Violence Prevention , BC SPCA
  • Dallas Mack – Ontario Crown Counsel
  • Jenny Mason, Lawyer and Policy Advisor, PEI
  • Tammy Merritt  – Program Manager, SafePet Ontario
  • Kathy Powelson – Executive Director, Paws for Hope Animal Foundation
  • Cassie Preston – No Pet Left Behind Coordinator, Paws for Hope Animal Foundation
  • Dr. Andrew Sparling, DVM – Board Member, Ontario Veterinary Medical Association
  • Frances Wach – Executive Director, Saskatchewan SPCA
  • Erin Whitmore  – Executive Director, Ending Violence Association of Canada
  • Dr. Jane Young  – Chair, Women for Humane Canada

The Canadian Violence Link Coalition is part of Humane Canada’s groundbreaking Criminal Justice System Reform Program. For more details on this program, click here.