Abusive behavior toward pets often predicts domestic abuse in relationships

Lynne Adkins
October 28, 2019 - 9:14 am
A woman holds a puppy

Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — If you have a pet, keep an eye on how your date or spouse treats the animal. It's a big red flag when it comes to abuse. If a person mistreats a pet, he's likely to do the same to you or other family members, says Lisa Schell, a graduate assistant in criminal justice at Delaware Valley University 

"It's all about power and control. There are many different things that come into that, including intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation," she said.

A study of 11 cities showed that more than 70% of women entering domestic violence shelters admitted that their abuser also physically or verbally attacked the family pet.