Earlier this month, the Pet and Women’s Safety Act (PAWS) was reintroduced to Congress. This important act, if passed, would protect not only a female domestic violence victim, but their pets as well.
You see, typically, domestic violence shelters do not allow survivors to bring their pet, though 34% of victims report delaying leaving their abuser for fear of what could happen to their pets. Multiple surveys have shown that as little as 49% and as many as 86% report an abusive partner threatening, hurting, or killing their pet.
The numbers make this bill vital, not only because we should never allow abuse of pets, but because we need make it easier for women to leave abusive situations. Especially, since its hard enough.
The bill was first introduced in 2015, but fell by the wayside. Why? According to the ASPCA, its because people don’t see the bigger picture. Senator Bob Dole worked with the organization’s President and CEO Matt Bershadker on a blog post about this issue. The post states, “Why are these figures overlooked? Because they aren’t human; they’re pets.”
Looking at the full picture of what these animals deserve as well as the PAWS’ impact on the human survivors shows the importance of it.
The new proposed act is still in its early stages. It has 196 co-sponsors.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for help.