There is widespread evidence that perpetrators of Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) exploit companion animals as tools of manipulation and coercion, with up to 53% of Victorian women who have experienced FDV cases, reporting threats to abuse or deliberate abuse of an animal.
There are long-lasting impacts on animals who have either witnessed or experienced violence. According to the RSPCA, one in three women delay leaving situations of FDV due to concerns about leaving their beloved pets behind.
Animal Justice Party Member for Northern Victoria, Georgie Purcell brought forward a motion to parliament to classify companion animal abuse as a form of family and domestic violence.
Purcell says by protecting animals in situations of family violence, we remove one of the biggest barriers to escaping violent homes.
Purcell says the government has recognised the motion and plans to take action.
This follows a recent incident where a 21-year-old Bendigo man has been charged with animal cruelty after he kicked his dog in the head.