Philosophy of AR > Animals and Abuse Linked

Maine Uses Utah State Study Linking Animal and Domestic Violence
April, 2006

A Utah State University professor's research about the connection between cruelty toward animals and domestic violence has influenced lawmakers in Maine to adopt a new law -- the first of its kind in the nation -- that expands the scope of protective orders to include pets.

Frank Ascione, USU professor of psychology, has conducted extensive research on the link between mistreating animals and mistreating women. One of his studies published in 1998 showed that 71 percent of women in a Utah shelter for battered women said their partner had threatened or hurt the woman's pet.

That study was cited by Maine Rep. John Piotti, a Democrat, who sponsored a bill that became law on Monday that permits judges to include pets in protective orders for people leaving abusive relationships.

A subsequent study by Ascione and some of his colleagues, due to be published soon, involved five Utah shelters and 101 women who reported being battered, along with a control group of 120 women who said they had not been battered.

In that study, 54 percent of the women who had been battered said their partner hurt or killed the animal, while 18 percent of the women reported the abusive partner had threatened the pet. These findings have been supported by other studies conducted since then in South Carolina, New York, Canada and Australia.

full story:,1249,635199027,00.html

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,