Concern for one's companion animal is an empirically substantiated delay for people attempting to exit dangerous intimate partner violence situations. While there has been a handful of empirical research (n=4) on safety planning and shelter policies on accommodating companion animals of individuals experiencing intimate partner violence, these studies have yet to be explicitly integrated and considered in terms of how to guide intervention response.
This roundtable session will begin a dialogue about related empirical research and the responses of service providers to women with companion animal who are seeking to exit intimate partner violence situations and also want to provide for their respective animal's safety. Presenters will focus particular attention on the dimensions of emerging response models, such as: co-sheltering of animals in domestic violence shelters; off-site sheltering of animals in facilities; and off-site sheltering of animals in foster homes. For example, presenters will discuss the health and safety factors salient to animal co-sheltering models vs. sheltering animal off-site models, as well as beginning a discussion of how to empirically evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies in terms of client outcomes (e.g., how do we examine these emerging models in terms of client preferences and potential to expedite exit from intimate partner violence).
Our goal is to stimulate conversation that will promote understanding of how to develop research-informed programming to remove barriers for people with animals who are attempting to leave intimate partner violence situations.