For some survivors of domestic violence who are cut off from friends and family, their pets are sometimes all they have for support.
According to new research from the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS), the added challenge of finding a pet-friendly refuge is a significant barrier for women fleeing domestic violence. In some cases, the study found that some women would stay in relationships for fear of what might happen to their pet.
“I heard from survivors whose pets were there for them through the darkest times. They really felt that their pets were what helped them to make it through, and the thought of being apart from that pet, and worse, leaving it behind where it could be in danger. They just couldn’t do it,” said Crystal Giesbrecht, director of research and communications at PATHS.