Animal abuse


  • Judicial College of Victoria, Family Violence Bench Book (2014).

    The Victorian Bench Book briefly refers to animal abuse as an example of emotional or psychological abuse in the following sections:

    5.2.1 – Emotional or psychological abuse: psychological abuse includes ‘abusing pets in front of family members’.

    Also see 1.1 – Additional Guidance – Common Risk Assessment Framework, lists harming or killing pets as an example of emotional abuse.


  • Neilson, Linda C, Domestic Violence Electronic Bench Book (National Judicial Institute, 2020).

    This bench book discusses animal abuse as a form of domestic violence in Section 4.6.4: Animal cruelty and domestic violence:

    • ‘The Issue: Research studies have demonstrated consistently and repeatedly an association between domestic violence and cruelty to animals. Animal cruelty is used in some domestic violence cases to terrorize intimate partners and to punish, control or silence children. Protection of animals has also been cited … as one of the reasons family members remain or return to abusive homes.
    • Potential response: Agreements and orders that secure the safety of pets can enhance safety while offering comfort to children.’ For further discussion in connection with civil protection orders, see Chapter