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Growing up, my father was verbally abusive to my mother, but the physical abuse was directed at my sister and me. One aspect of domestic violence I did not hear on this show relates to how abusers may control the family through the family's pets. My father became irritated by our kittens mewing around my sister's feet, and took out a gun and began shooting at them. He didn't hit anything that time, but my sister was completely terrorized. Another time, he shot a dog we had just adopted. The dog kept trying to come back to us, and he kept shooting until it was dead. We wouldn't have dared to leave, first out of fear that he would kill us, and second out of fear he would kill our other pets.
I believe that it is crucial that domestic violence shelters offer options for caring for the pets of those fleeing violence; otherwise, the victims may remain in the situation because of their pets.
posted 2 years, 4 months ago
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