A groundbreaking study has shed new light on why many women suffering domestic violence are scared to leave their partners.

The research shows one in three women delay leaving violent relationships because they’re scared their animals will be killed or tortured.

Women's Refuge is glad the issue has been highlighted

Half witnessed animal cruelty, and children are often exposed to the acts.

Women’s Refuge CEO Heather Henare, is glad the issue has been highlighted.

“I hope that it does shock people,” she says.

“I hope that it does make people more aware of why women delay leaving abusive relationships and reinforces the concern that we have over the power and control that men assert in order to keep women in violent relationships.”

The study also suggests a funding programme should be developed to support animals in temporary accommodation and vet expenses.

The study interviewed 203 women from 21 women’s refuges, and is thought to be the first study linking animal abuse and domestic violence in New Zealand.

A 70-year-old women spoke of how her husband chopped her budgie’s head off, telling her, “This is what I can do to you.”

And a 20-year-old said her partner abused their cat, essentially saying, “This is what I will do to you if you don’t toe the line.”
Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Animal-abuse-linked-to-domestic-violence/tabid/423/articleID/248314/Default.aspx#ixzz1qcr747mW