DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND YOUR PETS
Domestic abuse is someone being threatened, assaulted, or even killed by a loved one. Everyone knows someone who are or were victims of domestic abuse. It knows no boundaries, and has many forms: mental/verbal, and physical. The mental/verbal one is insidious and is slowly creeping into our lives without us noticing. It can be a cummulation of derogatory remarks, menacing attitudes, demands such as stopping having friends, listening to our conversations, going through our phone, opening our mail, showing up at our workplace to check on us, etc.
My teenage daughter and I were amongst them. Although I practiced martial arts for many years and could defend myself physically, mental abuse crawled into our life until we had no choice but to leave. I talked to no one about this, being embarrassed and hoping the situation would solve itself or would go away, but it got worse. I thought domestic abuse was physical but when I read the SOS Violence pamphlet in my doctor's office my eyes opened wide. I decided to leave and started looking for a place for my pets to stay because I would have never left them with the abuser. Ever.
Women Shelters are funded with federal money so all services are FREE. They have safe websites where you can log off without leaving any traces of your visit there.
I was living in Montreal at the time and contacted SOS Violence. They provided us with a safe shelter and counseling. They found us a place far away from home, and even connected me to the SPCA nearby where my two dogs and cats could stay for free. FREE!
" With more people staying at home, domestic violence is expected to increase. RedRover also has an assistance program that will help with the cost of pet boarding in domestic violence situations. If you or someone you know is trying to leave an abusive relationship, RedRover Relief Safe Escape grants help families with pets safely escape domestic abuse together.
For the safety of the client, applications must be submitted by a domestic violence shelter representative on behalf of the client. The program is unable to respond to requests by email, phone, fax or mail."
Click HERE for the link.
If you are in a similar situation and are looking for a way out, there is hope. Even with COVID limiting your interactions, you still can get out. If you do not want to leave your pets behind, call your local domestic violence organization and ask them if they can help you connect to an animal shelter where your pets can stay until you find a safe place. They can also apply for the RedRover grant on your behalf.
I will be forever grateful to S.O.S. VIOLENCE for providing us safety and guidance, but for also taking care of our furry family. I donate to women's shelters any chance I get and you can do the same. Women who leave bring nothing with them so any little bit helps. Toiletries, diapers, toys for kids, are always welcome.
"I thought I was the only one.. but we were thousands"
Be well, be healthy, be safe. Ask for help.
This program is also open to non-natives since it is funded with Federal grant money