Friday 18 January 2019 | 3

The United States and Australia: Pioneer Territories in The Link Research

The United States and Australia: Pioneer Territories in The Link Research

Mis à jour le 15 June 2019

The United States and Australia, pioneering countries, who already have thirty years of research experience concerning the Link.

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The National Link Coalition: A pioneering American institution in the promotion of the Link

Today, it is increasingly recognized that animal abuse is a potential indicator of aggressive or violent behaviour towards humans, and a variety of initiatives are emerging around the world in favour of measures and procedures. These measures and procedures take this gathered knowledge into account in order to prevent the escalation of violence within families and society. The National Link Coalition, headquartered in the United States, is a pioneer in promoting the Link internationally. The coalition is led by a steering committee of US specialists in the prevention of all forms of domestic violence, and its mission is to promote policies and practices to improve the safety of people and animals. National Link Coalition groups have been formed in 20 US states. (8)

There is little doubt that animal abuse is often linked to other forms of interpersonal violence. This discovery is now firmly established in the literature on domestic violence and criminology, whether the perpetrators are students, offenders, criminals, partners of battered women, or children (9).

Most of the previous studies were based on convenience samples * and cross-sectional data. In a study conducted in 1999, Arluke and his colleagues compared the criminal record of 153 individuals convicted of animal abuse with those of a control group of 153 individuals who did not abuse animals, with correspondence on the subject. Gender, age, socio-economic status and street or neighbourhood (10). Animal abusers were at least three times more likely to have a criminal record and at least five times more likely to have committed a crime or violent offense.

In the first US animal cruelty study, based on a representative sample of the adult national population, researchers (11) analysed data from the 2001-2002 national epidemiological survey on alcohol-related problems (NESARC). This survey covered 43,093 residents aged 18 and over, excluding residents of specialized institutions and a comparison was made between those who reported having abused animals and those who had never abused them, concerning 31 different antisocial behaviours. Individuals who admitted to mistreating animals were significantly more likely than others to have exhibited all of these antisocial behaviours. The strongest links between antisocial behaviour and animal cruelty have been observed in individuals guilty of robbery or assault, arson, harassment or threats.

This study also indicates a significant relationship between cruelty to animals and a number of psychiatric disorders such as alcohol-related disorders, pathological gambling, behavioural disorders, antisocial personality disorders, and many other disorders. personality (obsessive compulsive disorder, paranoid disorder and histrionic personality disorder *).

These links were observed even after taking into account a number of relevant socio-demographic variables:

  • Age,
  • Sex,
  • Ethnic origins,
  • The level of education,
  • Income,
  • The family situation,
  • The region and place of residence, in urban or rural areas.

In a 2009 study of 860 undergraduate students, DeGue and DeLillo found that 60% of students who witnessed or participated in acts of animal cruelty during their childhood were also abused. witnesses of domestic violence at home (12). Those who have been directly abused or neglected have the highest probability of abusing animals. Those who have witnessed acts of animal abuse are eight times more likely to have abused animals, and 30% of those exposed to domestic violence have also experienced animal abuse. However, only about 30% of those who experienced domestic violence also experienced animal abuse.

« Animal abuse may therefore be a more reliable indicator of family violence than the other way around. »

In all cases, animal abuse is a strong indicator of multiple forms of violence against family members.

Australian input into the Link research

Research conducted in Australia has essentially confirmed the results observed in other countries, predominantly in the United States and the United Kingdom. Several books and articles have been devoted to this work (12 to 20). The Link research in Australia was conducted by a small team of researchers. These include Gullone, who has demonstrated a connection between animal cruelty on the one hand and harassment and bullying of teenagers, domestic violence and witnessing acts of cruelty to animals committed by persons of significant importance to the witness (12 to 16). Dr. Tania Signal, among others (19), conducted a significant number of studies in Australia and contributed significantly to Australian research (13). Groups and resources (20) to study the Link in a concrete way have been developed across the country. A relatively new project called Lucy's project was launched (19).

* Convenience sample: the subjects in the study are chosen for practical reasons, and because the researcher did not find it useful to choose subjects that are representative of the global population.

* Histrionic personality: Personality disorder characterized by a marked tendency to dramatization or theatricality. Frequently it is easy to be influenced by others or by circumstances.


8 http: //nationallinkcoalition.o ...
9 Flynn, Clifton P., Understanding Animal Abuse: A Sociological Analysis, Lantern Books, 2012. 
10 Arluke, A., Levin, J., Luke, C. and Ascione, F. (1999), "The Relationship of Animal Abuse to Violence and Other Forms of Antisocial Behavior". Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14: 963-75.
11 Vaughn, Michael G., Qiang Fu, Matt DeLisi, Kevin M. Beaver, Brian E. Perron, Katie Terrell and Matthew O. Howard (2009), "Correlates of Cruelty to Animals in the United States: Results from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Journal of Psychiatric Research 43: 1213-18. 
12 DeGue, Sarah and David DeLillo (2009), Is Animal Cruelty a Red Flag for Family Violence? Investigating Co-occurrence Violence toward Children, Partners and Pets. " Journal of Interpersonal Violence 24: 1036-56.
13 Clifton Flynn, Professor of Sociology and Rector at the University of South Carolina, Spartanburg, SC, USA.
12 Gullone, E. (2012), Animal Cruelty, Antisocial Behavior and Aggression: More than a link. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., Hampshire.
13 Gullone, E. and Clarke, J. (2008), "Human-Animal Interactions: The Australian Perspective." In F. Ascione (et al.), The International Handbook of Theory and Research on Animal Abuse and Cruelty (pp. 305-335). West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press. 
14 Gullone, E. (2012), "Animal cruelty and family violence". In Reyes, C.L. and Brewster, M.P. (et al). Animal Cruelty and the Criminal Justice System (pp. 237-262), Durham, NC, Carolina Academic Press.
15 Gullone, E. and Robertson, N. (2008), "The relationship between bullying and animal abuse in adolescents: The importance of witnessing animal abuse". Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, 371-379. 
16 Thompson, K. and Gullone, E. (2008), "Prosocial and antisocial behaviors in adolescents: An investigation into associations with attachment and empathy". Anthrozoos, 21, 123-137
17 Volant, A., Johnson, J., Gullone, E. and Coleman, G. (2008), "The relationship between family violence and animal abuse". Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 23, 1277-1295.

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In the subject

2023: a year in pictures One Voice is rallying in December for International Animal Rights Day

Comments 3

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

Gretchen | Saturday 26 January 2019

Je confirme : établir un lien puissant entre un humain et un animal (un chat en particulier !) apporte quelque chose de très profond. On a l'impression de "passer" une part de son âme à une petite bête prête à la recevoir, et qui vous donne une immense gratitude en retour. A son niveau, certes, mais le phénomène est passionnant à observer.
Il grandit la personne humaine à travers la gratuité de cette approche et procure un grand apaisement. Accueillir, aimer, protéger, soigner sans rien attendre en retour que le bonheur évident d'une petite boule de poils est infiniment gratifiant et humanisant.
D'où l'aphorisme du Mahatma Gandhi que je ne vous ferai pas l'injure de répéter ...

Marie-Paule | Thursday 24 January 2019

A quand un fichier de personnes maltraitants des animaux transmissible à la police et à la gendarmerie ? J'ai signé des tas de pétition demandant un police des animaux et le fichier rien ne bouge.

Karine et Philippe | Thursday 24 January 2019

Il n'y a pas besoin de prendre exemple sur les Etats-Unis ou l'Australie pour s'apercevoir que les criminels qui commettent des actes de barbarie le transmettent obligatoirement sur les humains. Déjà, les écrivains tentaient de sensibiliser les gens à ce sujet par la littérature. Aujourd'hui, nos lois sont censées protégées les animaux considérés comme des êtres vivants dotés de sensibilité, mais au contraire, elles bénéficient aux coupables qui sont peu ou pas condamnés, par de simples amendes, dans un pays des droits de l'homme ou on oublie trop souvent, LE DROIT DE L'ANIMAL et l'on s'étonne après que la société a sombré dans la violence et la barbarie? Nos élus politiques sont chargés de faire respecter les lois, qu'en est-il, à part leurs beaux discours à la poudre de perlimpinpin avec un soupçon de carabistouilles, C'EST CROQUIGNOLESQUE ET CE N'EST QUE DE LA PIPE. Les actes sont préférables aux promesses non tenues.