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Nuria Querol Presents Link Between Animal Cruelty and Personality Disorder

GEVHA/Autonomous University of Barcelona presented at the American Society of Criminology conference a paper that linked animal cruelty with anti-social personality disorder. The event was held in Chicago from November 14 to 17 and the abstract presented was titled "Cruelty to Animals and Antisocial Personality Disorder: Criminology and Forensic Correlations" with the following session description:

"Animal mistreatment is often related to affective and link disorders within interpersonal relationships concerning underage people whose lack of empathy and remorse, associated with behavior disorders, are personality traits which imply probable violence in adulthood (Ascione, 2001). In our study fifty adult forensic cases (49 men, average age 34), in which there's a history of animal mistreatment as an independent variable, and the dependent variables are: (a) crime committed (violent/ non-violent); (b) presence or not of two dimensional psychopathy factors (PCL:SV; Hare 1985), and APD (DSM-IV-TR); (c) McDonald triad (cruelty to animals, pyromania, night urinary incontinence) and Pincus triad (child abuse, brain injury, paranoid ideation), and (d) kind of animal mistreatment in childhood-adolescence. The results show a 70% violent crimes in batterers of animals as the cause of their prosecution (56% in their crime history), a clearly antisocial profile (APD) or factor 2 of psychopathy (rather than nuclear psychopathy), with a McDonald triad prevalence of 48% and 30% of Pincus triad. These results show the need to assess the possible childhood and adolescence cruelty to animals in individuals whose violent behavior include crime in adulthood."

The organization also presented a similar paper in Sweden at the 2012 Stockholm Criminology Symposium in June. The Swedish presentation was titled "The Role of Animals in Domestic Violence", with the following session description:

"Regarding violence to animals within the context of domestic violence, previous studies reveal that 71% of pet-owning women entering women's shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims; 32% reported their children had hurt or killed animals. 68% of battered women reported violence towards their animals. 87% of these incidents occurred in the presence of the women, and 75% in the presence of the children, to psychologically control and coerce them. Mistreating animals is a warning sign that others in the household may not be safe.The Comission against Family and Gender Violence of the Primary Care Centers of Sant Cugat and Valldoreix is developing a Multidisciplinary Program to Attend Women victims of domestic violence and their companion animals following the SAF-T guidelines. We have established collaboration with SPCAs Fundaci�n Altarriba and Cau Amic to offer shelter for their companion animals in case it is needed. For that purpose, we are asking screening key questions in the emergency room or in the facility where the woman reports violence. In a year-time, we have identified 30 women who lived animals, 76% of them reported the animal being abused as well. In two cases, the abuser chose the breed (german shepherd and bull terrier) and left the animal with the woman when he left home. These dogs were poorly socialized and the women felt unable to positive-train them, in a parallel way to what was happening with their children which victimised the women in a way that was new for us. In one case it was necessary to shelter 3 dogs because the woman emergency shelter does not allow companion animals. For the 82% of the children/youngsters the companion animals were a source of comfort and love. 3 cases in which they abused animals where identified: a 8-year old child who is being abused by the father killed a companion fish and tried to kill a canary. He also presents enuresis, fascination for fire, self-harm and bullying. The two other are young women aged 19 and 21 diagnosed with borderline personality disorder."

Both papers showed similar findings to other studies that demonstrated a correlation between violence against animals and later violence against humans. These results indicate that animal abusers pose a threat to public safety and their behavior is indicative of later crimes against humans.

Dr. N�ria Querol i Vi�as, MD, M.Sc, BSc.
 Founder of GEVHA- Grupo para el Estudio de la Violencia Hacia Humanos y Animales
 American Society of Criminology, Div. Critical Criminology
 Sociedad Espa�ola de Investigaciones Criminol�gicas
 Comisi�n contra la Violencia Familiar y de G�nero, Hospital Universitario M�tua Terrassa
 Animals and Society Institute, Scholar Member
 http://www.gevha.com



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