The Blijf van mijn Dier domestic/animal abuse project has worked with domestic abuse victims to find safety for pets as they separate from their abusers. Now, we are working with an Amsterdam shelter that strives to keep victims with their pets.

A partnership agreement has been signed between the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) Blijf van mijn Dier domestic/animal abuse project and shelter Blijf Groep Oranje Huis Amsterdam. In the year ahead, IFAW will support and offer advice regarding companion animals to Oranje Huis and its clients.

Earlier research had shown that victims of domestic violence stay 52 weeks longer on average in the violence situation, simply because they cannot find a place to shelter their pets. Such victims prefer to stay in a violent home environment rather than leave their animal behind, with all its consequences. Abusers often vent their rage on pets or use a dog or cat to blackmail the victim.

That’s an intolerable situation and IFAW is determined to end it.

READ: Domestic violence/animal abuse project continues to grow in Netherlands

At present we are working with domestic violence shelters nation-wide and political circles in The Hague have also embraced the project. We have so far managed to provide a safe shelter to 100 animals, alleviating the worries of 66 abuse victims and a total of 78 children.

In 2015 we came into contact with the Blijf Groep Oranje Huis. The staff of this facility considers it to be in the best interest of victims as well as pets if victims of domestic violence are cared for and sheltered together with their pets.

We need to make it easier for victims to escape from a domestic violence situation together with their pets. Whenever possible, we must ensure that animals are not separated from their owners and victims of domestic violence seeking shelter with their pets do not have to be turned away.

The municipality of Amsterdam supports the partnership between IFAW and Oranje Huis.

We are extremely happy to have taken this step and look forward to working together.

–AvdH

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Article source: IFAW

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