Pet Appreciation Week!
At BWP we fully appreciate that what might happen to a pet is an important factor for many women affected by domestic abuse who are thinking of fleeing.
Did you know that 40% of the UK population own a pet? There’s an estimated 20 million pets in the UK, ranging from dogs and snakes to rabbits and turtles. Pets are a wonderful part of family life and bring much joy and happiness to the home. One cute look can pick you up if you’re having a bad day and their loyalty to you is something special.
As a lover of animals and pretty much any household pet I understand people who adore their little friends and just couldn’t be without them.
Did you also know there is a link between domestic abuse and animal abuse? It is proven that abusive partners will threaten to harm or kill an animal in an attempt to intimidate their partner into doing what they want. Domestic abuse is based on power and control and some abusive partners will do whatever it takes in order to get them.
This makes it nearly impossible to leave. If your partner is threating your pet if you go out or try to leave them, you would not go in order to save your pet. This pet might be the only thing that you feel connected to, this pet might have even saved your life, if it wasn’t for that pet you would have nothing left.
But please read that I said nearly impossible. Having and loving a pet should not be a barrier to leaving an abusive relationship. There are organisations out there available to foster pets until you have a permanent residence and although it may be hard to leave them for a few months it means you can begin a new life, get help and support and a new residence for both you and your pets to live an abuse-free life. You can keep in touch with your pet fosterer and get regular updates too, which means you don’t have to worry about them.
You may think people will judge you for not wanting to leave because “it’s only a pet” but here at Broxtowe Women’s Project we completely understand.
Be it a budgie, hamster or even a bearded dragon we will do whatever we can to ensure yours and your pets safety. We want you to know we are here to help and if you have any questions or queries please call our support line on 01773 719111.
BWP Outreach Worker