Child abuse, elder abuse, domestic violence, animal abuse – when one of these things is happening in a household, there is a likelihood that these other things are transpiring as well. This session zeroes in on the link between domestic violence and animal abuse, fostering collaborations, and providing support and resources to human and animal services agencies to create pet-friendly domestic violence shelters.
This session’s speaker is Katie Campbell, Director of Collaboration and Outreach for RedRover. She’s worked with numerous non-profits and communities over the years in both frontline and executive roles particularly survivors of domestic violence and other individuals at risk.
The presentation tackled:
- RedRover’s humble beginnings and the early programs they have in place to help animals.
- The Link: The scientifically proven correlation between various forms of violence co-existing in a household when one form of abuse is present.
- Domestic violence victims, their pets, how their lives are intertwined in a cycle of threat and abuse, and facts and figures that demonstrate this link.
- The less-than-ideal conditions that domestic violence victims and their pets had to go through before they are able to leave an abuser and upon leaving due to lack of pet-friendly DV shelters.
- Red Rover’s Domestic Violence Programs that provide resources, financial assistance, and pet-friendly housing to DV victims so they can leave their abuser while ensuring the safety of their pets.
- The two types of pet housing available as part of the pet-friendly options for DV survivors.
- How creating pet-friendly DV shelters ensures the safety of both the survivors and their pets, reinforces the human-animal bond, and facilitates healing from the trauma and abuse.
- Overcoming the anxiety that comes with establishing a pet-friendly program by looking at how the benefits outweigh the ‘extra work’ involved with the initiative.
- Unpacking the common barriers to implementing pet-friendly DV shelter programs.
- The steps to creating a pet program that involves effective collaborations, designing a space, establishing structure and operations, fundraising, and evaluation.
- The three primary organizations that must collaborate and cross-train to recognize the link, appropriately respond, and provide support.
- The various entities apart from animal and DV organizations that can help with the groundwork, raising awareness, and fundraising for the project.
- Design elements to consider to ensure that the space serves its purpose and quick fixes that can be done to make it pet-friendly.
- Facilitating the partnerships by creating documents, agreements, protocols, and other guidelines outlining the stakeholders’ roles to implement the program seamlessly.
- How going pet-friendly enables an organization to reach new donors and engage with other segments of the community that can support the ongoing costs of maintaining the program.
- Coming up with a well-rounded fundraising strategy through statistics, stories, engaging visuals, and out-of-the-box fundraising ideas.
- Funding support through RedRover’s Safe Housing Grants and Federal Grants.
- Evaluating the effort by gathering data and anecdotes to gauge its effectiveness and outcomes
- Next steps that an organization may incorporate immediately like:
- Asking about pets, including pets in safety-planning, and providing pet-friendly resources
- Fostering collaboration and cross-training with stakeholders, and raising awareness and educating potential partners.
- Joining the RedRover, Don’tForgetThePets and the National Link Coalition community.
Topics raised during the Q&A were on:
- The focus of RedRover’s Safe Housing Grant.
- Sources for the data provided in the presentation.
- The amount available through the grants.
- Overcoming resistance from the staff.
- Tips on getting grant funds.