In their lifetimes, approximately one in four women will be victims of domestic violence. Given that more than 72 million U.S. households include companion animals as pets (APPMA, 2007), it is inevitable that many of those households will experience domestic violence and pets caught in the cross fire of family violence. Twelve independent surveys have reported that between 18 percent and 48 percent of battered women have delayed their decision to leave their batterer, or have returned to their batterer, out of fear for the welfare of their pets or livestock (Ascione, 2007). When a family violence shelter is unable to help a family with pets, they are missing an opportunity to help a large segment of their community and end the cycle of violence. SAF-T is the answer to helping families with pets.
Through participation in this webinar presented by Allie Phillips, SAF-T Founder, domestic violence victim advocates will learn about the linkage between the urgent need to protect domestic violence victims and their pets from further abuse and the comfort that pets can provide, especially in times of stress and trauma. With over 60 shelters participating, greater awareness and implementation of SAF-T is needed to help more families. For a listing of states that include pets in protection orders, including statute summaries and full text, visit Michigan State University College of Law. This session is 1.5 hours in length.
Presenter bio: Allie Phillips is the Founder of Sheltering Animals & Families Together (SAF-T) and is also the Director of the National Center for Prosecution of Animal Abuse, at the National District Attorneys Association, and a Senior Attorney with the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse. She is licensed to practice law in Michigan and Maryland, has over 8 years of criminal prosecution experience as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Michigan, and has been training prosecutors and criminal justice professionals since 1997. She was the Vice President of Public Policy and then Vice President of Human-Animal Strategic Initiatives for American Humane Association where she worked on legislative issues and developed national initiatives on human-animal interactions. She is a published book author, long-time animal advocate and volunteer, and has dedicated her career to helping animals and their families.