A Template Analysis of Intimate Partner Violence Survivors' Experiences of Animal Maltreatment: Implications for Safety Planning and Intervention

Violence Against Women. 2018 Mar;24(4):452-476. doi: 10.1177/1077801217697266. Epub 2017 Apr 2.


This study explores the intersection of intimate partner violence (IPV) and animal cruelty in an ethnically diverse sample of 103 pet-owning IPV survivors recruited from community-based domestic violence programs. Template analysis revealed five themes: (a) Animal Maltreatment by Partner as a Tactic of Coercive Power and Control, (b) Animal Maltreatment by Partner as Discipline or Punishment of Pet, (c) Animal Maltreatment by Children, (d) Emotional and Psychological Impact of Animal Maltreatment Exposure, and (e) Pets as an Obstacle to Effective Safety Planning. Results demonstrate the potential impact of animal maltreatment exposure on women and child IPV survivors' health and safety.

Keywords: animal abuse; coercive control; domestic violence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animal Welfare*
  • Animals
  • Coercion*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence / psychology*
  • Pets / psychology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sexual Partners / psychology
  • Survivors / psychology*