Thursday 02 May 2019 | 3

Evidence about the Link: New initiatives have been born in the United Kingdom

Since 2001, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) have been working together on the issue of the Link. Together with other organizations pursuing similar objectives, such as the British Veterinary Association (BVA), they form the «Links Group» 1, , which is affiliated with the «National Link Coalition».

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« The mission of the Link Groups is to promote the well-being and safety of children, animals and vulnerable adults in order to protect them from violence and abuse. »

The main results from the Link Groups to date are as follows:

  • More referencing between the different organisations
  • The first ever law cases won in non-accidental injury cases for the RSPCA
  • The first ever trial won in a non-accidental injury case for the Scottish SPCA
  • Undergraduate training in veterinary medicine
  • The addition by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons of an appendix guide to good professional practices concerning the conditions under which it is possible to derogate from the principles of confidentiality in certain circumstances.
  •  Expansion of services for domestic animals

In 2003, the NSPCC published for the first time a pamphlet for child, family and animal care professionals, titled “Understanding the Links (Between) Child Abuse, Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence”².

Written on the basis from contributions to the international conference on the relationship between animal abuse and violence against humans held in 2007 at Keble College, Oxford. Also with the backing of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, the The Link Between Animal Abuse and Human Violence, which has been published by Andrew Linzey, has become a reference publication for global research aimed at a better understanding between the relationship of animal abuse and that of violence against humans3.

In 2018, new initiatives were launched. The link between animal abuse and violence against humans is now indisputable, but the application of this concept in Europe remains practically non-existent. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) now reports animal abuse cases when there is a suspicion of associated child abuse. Of these reports, 86% resulted in the identification of child protection problems previously overlooked by the authorities.

"Protocols (formal) using a risk assessment checklist" are emerging, which could significantly increase the number of reports. Considering that the RSPCA received 129,000 reports last year, the potential for discovering "hidden" abuse cases with an optimized reporting process across England and Wales is considerable. This initiative has drawn the attention of the College of Policing, whose assessment of the risk of domestic violence, harassment or honour-based violence (Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour Based Violence, or DASH) is available to all front-line police officers. The crime prevention department of the UK National Crime Agency also expressed interest in this initiative.

Local adult and child safety boards are now working to provide a more comprehensive second-level investigation in response to the risk assessment checklists managed by first responders. This is essential, given that first responders have limited opportunities to conduct comprehensive assessments, while these specialist groups have the necessary authority and competence.

Identification of interhuman violence and mistreatment: Relay procedure between the first two levels of intervention

Referral process for the first responder in an animal abuse case

The first responder investigates a case of animal abuse.

Intuitive checklist and evaluation.

  • Criteria fulfilled: reporting to the authorities responsible for the protection of children and adults for a second level assessment
  • Criteria not met: no subsequent action

Second level assessment.

  • Guilty party identified
  • Proceedings
  • Safeguard
  • Response to vulnerability

Other organization

Needs assessment

Sources
1www.thelinksgroup.org.uk
2 www.nspcc.org.uk
3 Brighton, Royaume-Uni, et Portland, États-Unis : Sussex Academic Press, 2009. Publié en France par One Voice en 2012 sous le titre «Violence sur les animaux et les humains… Le Lien

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In the subject

The proof of the Link in figures in Spain
In Bulgaria, the ZooPolice opens the way to a wake-up call regarding the Link

Comments 3

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

European Link Coalition | Saturday 04 May 2019

Et maintenant.... La France? https://www.europeanlinkcoalition.com/

nath | Thursday 02 May 2019

Enfin une bonne initiative ! De plus elle pourra permettre de condamner les gens qui maltraitent les animaux. Je ne peux qu’applaudir ! Bravo et respect

Karine et Philippe | Thursday 02 May 2019

Depuis un certain temps, des enquêteurs ont révélé un lien : CAUSE/EFFET. La plupart des criminels maltraitaient ou tuaient des animaux avant de le faire aux humains. Mais cette alerte n'a jamais été prise en considération et pourtant, elle aurait pu épargner bien des vies animales ou humaines. Pour que la situation évolue dans le bon sens et pour stopper ce fléau, il faut changer le statut juridique de l'animal "personne physique non humaine" et faire figurer l'abandon, la maltraitance, la barbarie et le crime dans le Code Pénal". Trop de tortionnaires passent entre les mailles du filet de la Justice et ne sont condamnés qu'à de simples amendes ou contraventions, ou pire encore, les affaires sont classées sans suite. Cela permettrait, également, d'éviter la maltraitance des enfants, que les services sociaux ont dû mal à desceller au sein de la société. On juge un pays de la façon dont il traite les animaux!!!!!!!