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Domestic and animal abuse links

15 October 2014

Recognition of the links between domestic and animal abuse has moved a step closer in Jersey with further training for veterinary staff and other professionals.

The police and veterinary professionals are working together to raise awareness of the signs of animal and domestic abuse and  identify and support those who are suffering.

Research and clinical evidence increasingly suggests links between the abuse of children, vulnerable adults and animals. In Jersey, there have been a growing number of cases where both people and animals are abused. According to the police, animal owners may be reluctant to leave their home or a relationship out of concern for their pet.

Tackling domestic violence

Head of the States of Jersey Public Protection Unit, Detective Inspector Mark Hafey said “we welcome the chance to raise awareness of domestic violence with vets as we recognise that tackling domestic violence is more successful if addressed at a multi-agency level."

States Veterinary Officer, Linda Lowseck says that like doctors and dentists, vets often build strong relationships with clients over years of visits, which can make them ideally placed to spot signs of abuse not only in an animal but also in their owner.

She backs the ongoing training and hopes it can make a difference. “There’s no expectation that vets will be experts on domestic abuse, but the people that attended will now have a better understanding of how to respond to any concerns they have about non-accidental injuries to animals and possibly vulnerable people.”

Link to British Veterinary Association information

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