Karen, thank you so much for your quick reply. I meet with this student tonight, and these responses are helpful as well as your support for the project. My personal interest is for the long term impact on children who have witnessed their pets abused in domestic confrontations. I understand that 60% of women in shelters say their pets were abused. They stay to protect them. Also, the children at the shelter (30?%) report that they witnessed it as well. A percentage of those grow up to abuse and or kill their animals. Very sad. I want to work with veterinarians to be aware of abusive interactions and how to report it. Thank you.
"Not long ago, I reported on a related study by McDonald that found one-quarter of children whose mothers experience domestic violence also see their pet threatened or abused, and that most often the child says the motivation is to control the mother." From: https://psmag.com/news/the-eff...l-health-of-children
And even when there's not animal abuse and torture (actual or threatened), there are kids who have undo responsibility for pets (worry about feeding, vets, etc. with little or no way to get those needs met) or who worry for and have to find pets that go missing or aren't potty trained etc. So, for kids, it's a complex issue.
I think working with vets is a good idea. I have to say though, in families where there is a lot of abuse and neglect, pets (or kids) are not necessarily getting to the doctor's office. If seen, it's likely by emergency rooms or on-call clinics. But there's also a lot of neglect.
However, for those animals that get to a vet, it would be great to have awareness of ACEs and a broader perspective for staff.
All that said. AND there can be so much love, joy, companionship in childhood (and beyond) making life and love richer, better and stronger because of what is learned loving, being loved by and caring for animals.
When I think of what went right for me in childhood that helped buffer against ACEs I always thinks of pets and the unconditional open page. Those two things (and the fact that school, for me, was safe) all helped so much).
Plus, there's so much healing that can happen WITH animals. Here's some quotes form a cool woman.
This one woman is doing some amazing work.
Sounds like you are doing great work as well!