In 2008, over 100 dedicated authorities, advocates and researchers representing a diverse array of animal protection, domestic violence, child maltreatment and elder abuse disciplines came together at a unique Town Meeting and National Summit in Portland, Maine. Our goal was to build greater awareness of how these forms of family and community violence are interconnected in what we call “The Link”, and to build successful programs whereby agencies in these fields can cross-report and cross-train each other for more effective prevention of violence. A multidisciplinary approach that addresses underlying and common causes of community and family dysfunction and violence has great potential for more effective strategies than do singular, isolated responses.
Unfortunately, violence begets violence. When there is animal cruelty or neglect in a home, chances are that children, partners or elderly family members are being hurt, too. When animals are abused, people are at risk: when people are abused, animals are at risk.
Led by a steering committee of nationally-renowned experts in the prevention of all forms of family violence, the National Link Coalition is an informal, multidisciplinary collaborative network of individuals and organizations in human services and animal welfare who address the intersections between animal abuse, domestic violence, child maltreatment, and elder abuse through research, public policy, programming and community awareness.
We serve as the National Resource Center on The Link between Animal Abuse and Human Violence. We believe that human and animal well-being are intertwined and that the prevention of family and community violence can best be achieved through partnerships representing multi-species perspectives. The National Link Coalition believes that through the recognition and integration of this understanding into policies and practices, humans and animals will be measurably safer.
Our work takes four main approaches. We showcase multidisciplinary programs and coalitions that work collaboratively to prevent and respond to all forms of inter-species family and community violence. We conduct professional training and public awareness programs and publish a monthly LINK-Letter to educate about The Link between animal abuse and human violence. We publicize academic research which explores The Link. And we follow public policy addressing the many aspects of The Link.
(Note: advocacy positions proposed by the National Link Coalition do not necessarily reflect the opinions of each of our diverse and multidisciplinary membership.)
To join the National Link Coalition (it’s free!), to find a speaker to address your organization or to receive our monthly e-newsletter about Link activities, please contact:
National Link Coalition
c/o Phil Arkow, Coordinator
16 Grasshopper Drive
Etowah, NC 28729