I just wanted to share this link. I was lucky, my ex never threatened or hurt my cat, and was able to get him back after I left, but I know that threatening family pets is a common tactic. I know my birth father used it on my mom. The story was she tried to leave after a fight and he knocked over an open container of antifreeze in the driveway, grabbed the dog by the collar, and he asked her if she knew that dogs love the taste of antifreeze. She was always afraid after that, that if she left he'd poison her dog. When she did leave, she had to relinquish him to a shelter because she was afraid for his safety, she didn't have the money to pay a kennel, and the domestic violence shelters wouldn't accept pets. She never found out what happened to him and she said she felt incredibly guilty, even years later.
So this means so much to me--I have my cat and we just adopted a sweet little Australian Shepherd puppy--that the government is realizing that our pets are more than *just* pets and that they deserve safety and protection just like our human family members do.
"The PAWS Act will expand existing federal protections for domestic violence victims to include their pets, and will establish a federal grant program to assist victims in finding safe shelter for their animals. The act will also create an amendment to the definition of stalking to include “conduct that causes a person to experience a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury to his or her pet.”
Ava, thanks so much for sharing this! I worked with a local shelter here in Illinois for a while, and we talked about the issue of pets. I think overall the DV support is moving into the right direction...thank goodness!!!
Hope all is well with you and your fiance. It's been a while since I logged on here and I have some catching up to do. Always good to see your name pop up though.
Always good to see your name come up too. So, I am married now! The wedding was at the end of September. It was outdoors, with our families and close friends. My older sister and brother-in-law who live in Europe even flew out for it. My sister-in-law played the piano and sang our wedding song, "I Choose You" by Sara Bareilles. Everything about that day was amazing. It's been about 3 1/2 months and I still pinch myself sometimes. I never thought I'd experience a love like this and I certainly never thought I'd get married. Life is so so good. It's crazy to think how much life can change in just a few years. We didn't plan it this way, but we were married exactly 4 years to the day after my ex put me in the hospital for the second time, the day I realized I had to get out. I was in such a dark place then, and for a long time after that. I used to wish I could just erase those years, from age 16 to 19, or at least go back and relive them differently. But I know that everything I survived and everything I've fought for have brought me where I am now, and I'm a stronger and more confident person for it, and I'm grateful for that. So, yes we are doing great. Getting ready to move, not far, just out of town, as soon as we're able to close on a house we've found.