Monday, June 18, 2012

RSPCA APPLAUDS CHANGE TO FAMILY LAW ACT


RSPCA NSW commends the recent amendment to the family law act which now includes harming of the family pet as part of the definition of domestic violence.  As part of their Safe Beds for Pets program, the RSPCA acknowledges the strong link between animal and human abuse. 

The RSPCA NSW Safe Beds for Pets program provides emergency housing for pets of people seeking refuge from domestic violence.  Its aim is to address the link between animal and human abuse and to offer practical assistance to enable victims to flee violence.

RSPCA NSW Programs Development Manager Karen Thorne said it’s not uncommon for the perpetrator of domestic violence to try and make victims stay in a violent relationship by threatening to harm – or even kill – the pet if the victim leaves.

“It’s a well-recognised problem,” said Ms Thorne.  “So it’s wonderful to see this level of recognition by the Government.”

By helping to remove victims and pets from violent situations, the RSPCA hopes to help break the chain of violence.  “Our program gives domestic violence victims peace of mind and allows them to secure their own safety without worrying about their pet’s safety,” said Ms Thorne. 

“Pets are part of people’s families, and the RSPCA is extremely pleased with the Government’s decision to protect them under the new law.”

The Safe Beds for Pets program relies on donations and grants for support.

For more information about RSPCA’s Safe Beds for Pets Program, email safebeds@rspcansw.org.au or call 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589).

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