Target: Ohio House Speaker William G. Batchelder
Goal: Ensure legal protection for the pets of victims of domestic violence
A shocking majority of domestic violence victims who have pets report that their abuser injured or threatened their beloved companion. Many victims refuse to leave or delay leaving domestic violence situations in fear for their pet’s life. Thankfully, legislators in Ohio have proposed a compassionate new measure that would legally protect the pets of victims of domestic violence.
House Bill 243 (H.B. 243) would allow pets to be included in protective orders issued by judges for domestic violence victims. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, “Nearly three-fourths of pet-owning women entering domestic violence shelters report that their abuser killed, harmed or threatened their animal.” Abusers cruelly take advantage of the bond victims have with their pets and abuse the animals as a method of inflicting further emotional trauma on the victim. Threatening to hurt a victim’s pet can also be a tactic to keep them from leaving. Sadly, most domestic violence shelters will not allow victims to bring their pets.
In an effort to protect their beloved pets, many victims stay in abusive situations even longer. If the proposed measure is passed into law, more domestic violence victims will be able to seek help without risking the livelihood of their animals, protecting both the victims and their pets alike. The common-sense bill has already been passed unanimously by the Ohio Senate, and 24 states across the country already have similar laws in existence. Urge the Ohio House of Representatives to protect domestic violence victims and their pets by supporting H.B. 243.
Dear Mr. Batchelder,
Sadly, almost 75 percent of pet-owning victims of domestic violence report that their abuser has killed, injured or threatened their animals. Harming or threatening a victim’s beloved companion is a common tactic used by abusers to inflict further emotional trauma and prevent the victim from leaving. Unfortunately, most domestic violence shelters do not allow pets, so many victims stay in abusive situations in an attempt to protect their pet.
House Bill 243 (H.B. 243) would allow judges to include pets in protective orders for domestic violence victims. This compassionate legislation would encourage more victims to seek help in leaving abusive situations without risking the lives of their pets, protecting both domestic violence victims and their beloved companions. I urge you to support H.B. 243 and join the 24 other states that already have similar life-saving laws in effect.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: ciao-chow via Flickr