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North Texas LINK Coalition Announces Its Creation, Raises Awareness of the Link between Animal Cruelty and Human Violence

 

 


(DALLAS, TX); October 2, 2017--
The North Texas LINK Coalition, made up of local nonprofit organizations, government agencies and other community professionals, is excited to announce its presence to North Texas. The coalition is on a mission to facilitate the North Texas area’s recognition and understanding of the dynamic connection – the LINK - between animal abuse and the cycle of family and societal violence. The SPCA of Texas is host agency to the North Texas LINK Coalition.


“There is a proven link between violence toward animals and violence toward humans, and sadly the North Texas area does see extreme cases of animal cruelty,” said James Bias, President/CEO of the SPCA of Texas. He continued, “Thanks to research by the National Link Coalition and others, it is now widely recognized that mistreatment of animals is often a warning sign that other family members in the household may not be safe.”


Local statistics drive the North Texas LINK Coalition’s mission and purpose. In 2016 the SPCA of Texas’ Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit completed over 2,500 animal cruelty investigations in North Texas resulting in the seizure and rescue of 2,290 animals. The 2015-2016 Dallas Domestic Violence Taskforce Report cited 4,011 cases of domestic violence filed by the Dallas Police Department, including 16 family violence murders.


Adding the thousands of cases investigated in other North Texas cities and statewide by similar organizations and law enforcement agencies, the number is daunting; plus these cases often involve other types of criminal activities.


“In domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse cases, actual or threatened animal abuse can be a way for the abuser to silence victims about the incident or to prevent them from leaving a violent relationship. Abusers kill, hurt or threaten animals to exert power over the human victims and to show them what could happen to them,” said Phil Arkow, Coordinator for the National Link Coalition. He continued, “Killing a family pet can eliminate a source of comfort and support for the human victim. Sometimes the victims themselves abuse animals, either to protect the animal from worse harm or to displace their hostility towards their abuser.”


Throughout Texas, societal violence is an enormous financial burden for communities. Each year, government agencies and nonprofit organizations expend tens of millions in operating funds to fight violent cruelty and help human and animal victims. The 2016 Texas Health and Human Services Commission Family Violence Program Report noted its fiscal year expenditures exceeded $30 million for service providers’ delivery of vital services to domestic violence survivors and their children yet that funding is a small part of the total need. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ Client Services Operating Budget increased by $100 million from FY2014 to FY2016. Those state-level human services related budgets do not include the additional crime-fighting expenses of municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies or the independently-funded non-profit organizations' services that support abused humans and animals, also in the tens of millions.


The North Texas LINK Coalition’s vision is a future where the North Texas area is knowledgeable about the LINK and partnerships are created with the common goal of helping those caught in the cycle of violence that we seek to impact. At the May 2017 Conference on Crimes against Women in Dallas keynote speaker Maya Gupta, Ph.D., Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, stated “This isn’t about whether we like animals. If we want to reduce violence in all its forms, we must pay attention to the connections between human and animal violence.”


To learn more about the North Texas LINK Coalition and its members, please visit www.northtexaslinkcoalition.com.

 

 

 

 

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