Keep­ing Loved Ones To­gether 90

Help do­mes­tic vi­o­lence vic­tims and their pets.

Prevention (USA) - - CONTENTS -

Pets Are Fam­ily Too

An es­ti­mated 48% of vic­tims stay with their abusers out of fear for their pets’ safety, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Coali­tion on Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence. “Get­ting peo­ple and pets to safety is crit­i­cal, be­cause pets are of­ten used to con­trol and ma­nip­u­late a per­son,” says Ni­cole Forsyth, CEO of RedRover, a non­profit that helps an­i­mals and their peo­ple in cri­sis.

Aware­ness Is Key to Change

“Un­der­stand­ing the lack of re­sources for sur­vivors with pets and how it im­pacts their de­ci­sion to leave drives us to be ad­vo­cates for change,” says Nina

Leigh Krueger, pres­i­dent of Pu­rina, which has part­nered with RedRover to help vic­tims and their pets es­cape abuse and heal to­gether.

What Can Be Done?

RedRover and Pu­rina re­cently launched the Pur­ple Leash Project, a joint ef­fort that ex­pands RedRover’s Safe Hous­ing pro­gram. The goal: to es­tab­lish at least one pet-friendly DV shel­ter in ev­ery state.

The pro­gram helps shel­ters adapt to ac­cept pets or es­tab­lish an off­site pet shel­ter. This can be tricky, but RedRover has ex­pert staff to help nav­i­gate in­sur­ance and other con­cerns.

Through­out Oc­to­ber, Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Aware­ness Month,

Pu­rina and RedRover en­cour­age pet lovers to join the Take the Lead Chal­lenge on so­cial me­dia. Go for a walk with your dog, post a pic with #Pur­pleLeashPr­o­ject, and chal­lenge oth­ers to do the same. Visit pur­pleleashpr­o­ for more ways to get in­volved. —Lizz Schumer

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