From May-June 1997
Launches Its "First Strike"
Campaign Focuses on the
Link between Animal Abuse and Human Violence
The HSUS is bolstering its
efforts to educate the public and social-service professionals about the
undeniable connection between animal abuse and human violence. The
HSUS's new "First Strike" campaign will increase awareness of the well-documented
connection, but more importantly will attempt to strengthen the ties that
bind community organizations together in an effort to improve abuse prevention,
increase intervention efforts, and strengthen anti-cruelty laws.
Your agency can take
the lead in educating those who are on the front lines: members of
the public and animal welfare, law enforcement, human services,
and education professionals. Once investigators in humane agencies
and social service agencies are trained to identify instances of abuse
and begin sharing pertinent data with each other, your community
will be better able to rescue animals and people who stand in harm's way.
To help you get started,
The HSUS has created a First Strike campaign kit filled with materials
on intervention and prevention. The kit contains fact sheets customized
for animal-shelter personnel, law-enforcement representatives, social workers,
educators, parents, and the general public. It also features advice enjoining
an existing anti-violence coalition or organizing a new one.
violence must draw on all the diverse talents of a community," says
Randall Lockwood, PhD, HSUS vice-president for Training Initiatives, a
psychologist who's published numerous articles on the cycle of abuse. "Humane
groups can help identify the perpetrators and victims of violence and can
act as resources to promote empathy and compassion to others within the
The HSUS recently sponsored
national public opinion poll which reveals the depth of the public's
interest in this topic. Some of the survey's results include:
Four in five Americans want
stronger enforcement of anti-cruelty laws and 75 percent are more likely
to support politicians who vote to strengthen such laws.
have witnessed an incident of intentional animal abuse within the last
five years, though less than half reported the incident to authorities.
Three in ten Americans said
that either they, a friend, or a co-worker has been a victim of domestic
Of those reporting abusive
situations where a pet was present, 18 percent said that the victims'
pets were either threatened, injured, or killed by the perpetrator.
These findings underscore
the need for collaborative efforts to prevent all forms of violence.
The First Strike campaign
will be the focus of a two-day symposium entitled "Cruelty to Animals
and Human Violence: Making the Connection," scheduled for September
9-10 in Washington, DC.
Call toll-free 888-213-0956
to register for the symposium or to learn more about the First Strike campaign.
To receive a campaign kit containing brochures, handbooks, ad slicks, and
fact sheets, request order #PM2188 and send $8 to First Strike Campaign,
2100 L St., NW, Washington, DC 20037.
1997 The Humane Society of the United States.