Dundee Family Lawyer

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Domestic violence guidance for vets

Domestic violence charity Women’s Aid has welcomed new guidance from the British Veterinary Association which advises vets on the signs of domestic violence and urges them to report abuse when they suspect it.

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid said:

“At Women’s Aid we know from speaking to abused women that perpetrators of domestic violence can be violent towards animals as part of their abusive behaviour. Animal abuse, or the threat of animal abuse, can be a way for a perpetrator of domestic violence to further control and hurt their family.

“With domestic violence happening to one in four women in their lifetime, vets are likely to be in contact with families where domestic violence is happening, and it is a really positive step that the BVA have developed guidance to enable vets to respond appropriately.

“Two women every week in England and Wales are killed by a current or ex-partner, and we can only reduce this statistic if people address domestic violence and if professionals from a range of backgrounds are able to recognise and report evidence of abusive behaviour.

“Many women and children are reluctant to leave an abusive home because they don’t want to leave their family pet behind. It is for this reason that many Women’s Aid member services work closely with pet fostering services, to help women and children who are going into refuge accommodation leave with the peace of mind that their pet is safe.”

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