Lucy’s Project, the peak organisation raising awareness of the link between animal abuse and domestic violence in Australia, will this weekend bring together family violence specialists, veterinary professionals and policy makers for the Lucy’s Project conference.

Called Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse – Strategic and Practical Perspectives, the event is being held on 22-23 September and will be hosted by the University of Melbourne’s School of Social Sciences and the Melbourne Veterinary School.

The conference aims to raise awareness of the link between family violence and animal welfare and to streamline responses.

Domestic violence and animal abuse conference 2018

Founder Anna Ludvik, Olivia Neutered Dog and Billie Howliday. Photo credit, Denise Alison.

Lucy’s Project recognises that we fail to save human domestic violence victims lives when we fail to address the whole family- paws and all. Companion animals are often cited as the reason a victim returns to an abusive home, the inability to secure pet-friendly accommodation the reason for increased homelessness for predominately women victims and their children.

Lucy’s Project recognise the:

  • trauma inflicted when beloved animals are abused as punishment, as a threat or means of control
  • very particular trauma this inflicts on children and the special approach needed to help children heal
  • role of many different fields and professions in responding to the intersection of companion animal ownership and domestic violence including vets, doctors, animal welfare organisations, crisis response systems, police, refuges, housing bodies, transitional homes, and government
  • working together as a coordinated network is imperative to the overall goal of saving lives, improving the quality of life for survivors and helping child survivors to thrive into adulthood.

First seen in Vet Practice Magazine.