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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222417 Find in a Library
Title: Cruelty to Animals and the Short- and Long-Term Impact on Victims
Journal: Journal of Emotional Abuse  Volume:7  Issue:3  Dated:2007  Pages:31-57
Author(s): Karen D. Schaefer
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 27
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article proposes that witnessing, being threatened with, or forced to commit animal abuse is an additional form of maltreatment that could provoke short- and long-term effects for the victim.
Abstract: In order to disrupt the cycle of violence, it appears that all forms of family violence need to be addressed in order for change to occur. Animal abuse is one form of family violence that is just beginning to be acknowledged as a critical mental health and societal issue. Therapists will need to address animal abuse as it occurs in families, as well as be responsive to clients who report being a victim or perpetrator of animal abuse. However, first and foremost, education about the nature and importance of animal abuse is critical for both the general population as well as for therapists who work with those who witness (or are threatened) animal abuse. It appears that survivors of abuse, whether witnesses or direct recipients of the abuse, are impacted in similar ways. There are parallels in both the short- and long-term effects regardless of the type of abuse, including post-traumatic stress symptoms as indicated by depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, self-blame, self-destructive, risk-taking, or externalizing symptoms seen through inappropriate expression of anger or delinquency. It is proposed that witnessing, being threatened with, or forced to commit animal abuse constitutes an important form of abuse with both short- and long-term effects. Similar to the impact of other forms of abuse, comparable effects could exist for both the human and nonhuman survivors of animal abuse. References
Main Term(s): Cruelty to animals; Psychological victimization effects
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Domestic violence causes; Family offenses; Home environment; Sociological analyses
Note: Special issue titled: Animal Abuse and Family Violence: Linkages, Research, and Implications for Professional Practice. For additional articles see NCJ-222416 and NCJ-222418-420.
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