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The proof of the Link in figures in Spain

The proof of the Link in figures in Spain

Mis à jour le 15 June 2019

In Spain, the monitoring system for violence against animals has unveiled results showing evidence of the link on the territory. Find out the figures and actions taken.

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The Group for the Study of Violence against Humans and Animals (GEVHA), founded in 2000, develops educational programs for the prevention of violence against humans and animals, for the promotion of empathy and for the resolution of conflict. The GEVHA website centralises the information. GEVHA recently gave rise to the Monitoring of Violence against Animals.

Forty-six cases of domestic violence were studied: 89.13% of the victims were women and 10.87% were men. The coexistence between interpersonal violence and animal abuse was found in 93.33% of cases.

A wide variety of types of violence has been observed, and among the most common:

  • hitting: 57.14%,
  • killing: 19%,
  • negligence: 23.81%,
  • burns: 2.4%,
  • verbal abuse (screaming and terrorizing the animal): 66.67%,
  • tethered animals: 4.8%,
  • suffocation: 2.4%,
  • drowning: 2.4%,
  • shooting at an animal: 7.1%.

66,76 %

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are verbal abuse

57,14 %

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violence by beating

23,81 %

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suffering negligence of humans

In studying the identity of the authors, it was determined that it was

  • adult males (the father) in 81.4% of cases,
  • adult females (the mother) in 2.33% of cases, 
  •  boys in 4.65% of cases,
  • girls in 11.63% of cases
  • another parent in 2.33% of cases.

Previous research has shown that some victims spontaneously reported that their pet had developed behavioural problems related to violent acts and that this contributed to the suffering of the victim who did not know how to help his animal. For this research, we asked specific questions about behavioural disorders (phobias, aggressiveness, enuresis): these disorders were admitted by 19,23% of the victims. In 7 cases, we had to urgently find a shelter for pets, which was possible thanks to our cooperation with the Freedom Paws Link project (SAF-T Program partner).

For 30 years, researchers and professionals in various human services and animal welfare activities have established significant interactions between animal abuse, violence and neglect of children, domestic violence, abuse of the elderly and other forms of violence.

Animal abuse is no longer viewed as isolated incidents that can be ignored: it is often an indicator or warning that other household members are not safe. A link has also been established between animal abuse and violent offenses as well as personality disorders.

In Spain, two police services, the Polinyà and Castelló (UPROMA) local police, have specifically included animal abuse in their protocols as part of the risk assessment in the context of domestic violence and child abuse. Animal abuse is also considered as a risk factor for offenses. Both services participate in research with health professionals, and a correlation with animal abuse was found in 93% of the 46 cases of domestic violence studied. Both services also provide emergency shelter for animals through a partnership with the Freedom Paws Link project.


23 Querol, N. et al., Preliminary results of the DOMPET study for shelters in Spain and LatinAmerica. Livre des résumés du IIe congrès international de l’Advanced High School of Criminological Sciences – CRINVE 2013. ISBN 978-88-97378-02-0.

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