The link between animal cruelty and other forms of violence was discussed in the February 2019 Behavioural Sciences column. Animal cruelty can co-exist with other forms of violence, such as domestic violence, homicide and child abuse, to name a few. The blood sport of dogfighting, and its connection with gangs and organized crime, was also discussed. Although more prevalent in other countries, it has become a growing concern in Canada. Dogfighting is the act of encouraging, aiding and assisting in baiting or fighting of dogs (or dogs fighting with other animals) and is addressed in s.445.1 of the Criminal Code.
Referred to, in the academic literature, as the Violent Link, research has shown a robust connection between animal abuse and interpersonal violence (IPV) and, in particular, domestic violence (DV). Pets can be found in as many as 80 per cent of these homes and may also be at risk of suffering severe or fatal injury. Victims of domestic abuse have a strong bond with their pets and their abuser is aware of this bond and can use it as an abusive tactic against their partner.
We would like to introduce Blue Line’s newest column, Behavioural Sciences, by Peter Collins, the operational forensic psychiatrist with the Ontario Provincial Police’s Criminal Behaviour Analysis Unit. Collins has an extensive background in violent crime and has worked with, as well as instructed, numerous criminal justice agencies in North America and beyond. This column will tackle modern behavioural issues in relation to law enforcement and seek to provide solutions through the latest research and tools, as well as stimulate discussion. Special thanks to Niagara Regional Police officer Robin Bleich for making the introduction.
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