The link between violence against humans and animals is overwhelming. Research indicates that
48% of domestic violence (DV) survivors stay with their abusers because they fear what will happen to their pets. Unfortunately, in a home where abuse occurs, it is likely that pets will be part of the cycle of cruelty.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,
71% of women experiencing DV reported that their abusers had threatened, harmed, or even killed a family pet. In much the same way that children can be used as pawns, animals in volatile homes are often used as a way for the abuser to exert
power and control. Fear for animals’ safety in abusive homes is a very real and important concern for survivors of domestic violence
What Can We Do?
Middle Way PAWSS (Providing Animals and Women with Safe Shelter) seeks to give domestic violence survivors more options and make the complicated process of leaving an
abusive relationship a little easier. Middle Way PAWSS will provide a safe place for the pets of individuals seeking assistance from Middle Way House. Pets admitted into the program will receive routine veterinary care and be placed with a
trained PAWSS ”Foster Parent”. Our volunteers will provide pets the love and security they need during their stay.
Making A Difference
Middle Way PAWSS will have a meaningful impact on DV survivors in the community.
Offering a safe home for pets will eliminate an important obstacle in leaving an abuser: fear for their pet’s safety. No
one should be forced to choose between her pets’ safety and her own.
In addition to easing the pain and difficulty survivors face when leaving their abuser, PAWSS will help women at Middle Way House during their stay at the shelter.
Having an alternative home for their pets will allow DV survivors the space and time to begin the process of building a new life.