It’s that time of year again! Looking for animal friends to star in our annual W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Pet Calendar! If you’re unfamiliar with the history behind our Pet Calendar, you may be thinking “Okay. This is cute, but what is the relevance? Where do animals come into play when we’re talking about domestic violence?” Reasonable questions, here’s some context:
- There is a big correlation between domestic violence & animal abuse. Statistics
show that people who abuse their partners are also super likely to abuse their pets. It is not uncommon that abusers harm/threaten to harm the survivor’s pet as a manipulation tactic.
- Pets can play a large role in the survival and healing of those who’ve experienced violence and trauma. On top of many stories of pets intervening and protecting their humans in abusive situations, pets have anecdotally and statistically shown to be instrumental in the healing process of so many survivors. Our animal friends are a source of unconditional love, something we all deserve.
In addition to raising awareness for the correlation between domestic violence and animal abuse, we want to celebrate the therapeutic powers animals provide us during times of both struggle and healing. How has your pet impacted YOUR life? Whether your pet has helped you through hardship or you just want to share with the community about the joy your animal friend has brought to your life, we invite you to share what you’d like with us! Please submit a picture (no specific size requirements, we just ask that it is a clear photo) of your pet with a short blurb (~25 – 75 words) on what they mean to you to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, November 28th. Be sure to include your name (unless you wish to remain anonymous; if that is the case please indicate so) and your pet(s) name(s). Feel free to get creative! Short stories, love letters or simple odes of appreciation all encouraged.
Owning a pet and experiencing domestic violence adds an additional layer of complexity to the situation. The abusive partner may withhold money to pay for the animal’s food and water. When attempting to leave, a survivor might be denied housing and/or shelter access because the location does not accommodate pets. We have a fund that hopes to address some of these issues. The proceeds from our pet calendar sales will go back our Pet Fund which helps with food/water costs, kennel stays and more for pets whose humans have experienced domestic violence.