Domestic Violence Month: Dogs, Kids, and Domestic Violence

Cindy Best

We tend to think that domestic violence only affects the partner spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend but there is collateral and direct damage to children and pets. A batterer who abuses their dogs or cats is more likely to abuse a person, adult or child. A family where there is domestic violence puts the children at risk. Up to 50% of children in such families suffer from child abuse. If the child is not directly assaulted, they witness emotional abuse and turmoil that can haunt them the rest of their lives. Batterers do not make good parents, they are self-centered and sometimes diagnosed as narcissists. They tend to try and control their children and often speak harshly to them to make them feel belittled. So, if you are a mother who is a victim of DV, get out for your children, yourself, and maybe even your dog. You are not alone. You are not at fault. And, there is help.

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