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Center for Animal Law Studies

Animal Cruelty: The Link to Domestic Violence & Policy (305)

November 12, 2013

Heidi Moawad
2 credit hours

This course will focus upon the link between animal cruelty and domestic violence, focusing on state and federal laws, policy and practices impacting human and animal victims of domestic violence.  The course will begin by tracing the history of the Battered Women’s Movement in the United States, focusing on the many social, economic, cultural, religious, gender and other barriers that domestic abuse advocates faced (and continue to face) when trying to change policies and practices regarding domestic abuse prosecutions and civil enforcement mechanisms to protect victims of domestic abuse.  Students will be asked to apply the lessons learned from the Battered Women’s Movement to the Animal Protection Movement, specifically focusing on effective arguments and approaches to change policies, practices and public attitudes regarding animal cruelty.  The course will also examine the dynamics of abuse, the role of animals in domestic violence/family violence, research regarding the link between animal abuse and other crimes, and various legal issues and legislative responses to this link, such as including animals in restraining orders, cross-reporting laws, mandated animal cruelty reporting requirements for veterinarians, and other innovative legal approaches.  This is an animal law course that will draw from philosophies typically explored in women’s studies and social movement courses.