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Domestic abuse, controlling and coercive behaviours and companion animals

Date:12 DEC 2022




Trying to define and prove controlling and coercive behaviours both before and after Re H v N 2020 [2021] EWCA Civ 448 has been difficult and occasionally contradictory. This Article looks at ways in which companion animal abuse or threats to them can help shed light on what we mean by controlling and coercive behaviours and how such can provide very powerful evidence to prove it. It also suggests that by introducing this evidence into our thinking and case law we shine a light on the links between domestic abuse child abuse and animal abuse and so better protect not only human victims of abuse but also the animals we share our lives and family life with.



The links from research



There is increasing professional recognition of the links between domestic abuse child abuse and the abuse of animals. Most of the research has been undertaken in the USA and is a developing field in the UK. What we now know from this research is:

  1. In the UK in 2021-2 over 62% of households owned a pet (Statista Research Dept April 22 2022);
  2. There are consistent...

Read the full article here.