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Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA), Companion Animals and Independent Agency: Why as criminologists we need to start a conversation beyond speciesism and towards an intersectional approach.

By Di Turgoose, Ruth E. McKie

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Abstract

Government strategies (such as VAWG) and the Domestic Abuse Consultation (2019) have begun to recognise the importance of supporting and developing strategies to address other ‘invisible’ and ‘vulnerable’ victims/survivors of DVA as distinct topics for empirical study and practical policy research. These developments have been achieved by an increasing awareness that previously ‘invisible’ and ‘vulnerable’ victims/survivors (such as children) should be given independent agency and research and practice strategically developed to address their needs specifically, as well as within the broader context of DVA prevention. Similarly, we argue that the concept of independent agency is equally applicable to companion animals who are victims/survivors of DVA. Non-human animal abuse and DVA are commonly perceived as separate issues and often handled independently (e.g. animal protection and human service agencies), and whilst professional experts in both fields are often not surprised to learn that they are often ‘working’ or ‘dealing’ with the same children, families and perpetrators, non-human animal abuse is largely considered as a risk indicator (‘red flag’) for human abuse. Through this presentation, we wish to start a conversation that companion animals should be recognised as victims/witnesses/experiencing DVA and therefore worthy of victimhood status in their own ‘right.’

Submitter

Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date July 2019
Conference Title British Society of Criminology Conference on Public Criminologies Invisible Victims Panel
Format PDF
URL https://www.dora.dmu.ac.uk/handle/2086/18323
Language English
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Tags
  1. Abuse
  2. Animal roles
  3. Crime
  4. Domestic violence
  5. Education
  6. open access
  7. Pets and companion animals
  8. social justice
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  1. open access