ALDF joined the NCJFCJ at its Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada in 2022, and presented two sessions regarding the link, including judicial officers discussing their community-based efforts to address the nexus of animal abuse and family violence in their communities and a recent decision in the Supreme Court of the State of Washington finding that animal cruelty may be considered domestic violence.
NCJFCJ created A PSA Template for Promoting Awareness of the Links Between Animal Cruelty and Family Violence, which offers guidance on the development and promotion of video public service announcements by judges and communities and includes step-by-step resources, links, and information on how to create and distribute PSA videos as well as practical examples of community use of PSAs to promote awareness and action.
The NCJFCJ worked with the Honorable Katherine Tennyson (Ret.) to develop a judge-to-judge letter on judicial involvement in addressing the LINK between animal abuse and family violence. In her letter, Judge Tennyson promotes judicial leadership and highlights the National LINK Coalition’s Toolkit for Starting a Link Coalition in Your Community as an example of ways in which judge-led community coalitions can affect change. Developed by NCJFCJ’s partner and member of the Judicial Response to Animal Cruelty Advisory Group Phil Arkow, the Toolkit offers practical tools for community leaders, including judges, for beginning and sustaining a community-based coalition around addressing the link and discusses ways to identify partners, build a coalition, and recommended action planning to encourage, “local solutions to meet local concerns, augmented by additional resources.
“Local Link coalitions, uniting community organizations and individuals around a common cause of preventing and responding to family violence issues, are creating systemic changes…“
~ From the Toolkit
Click here for more resources on judicial leadership and community coalition building.
NCJFCJ and its partner ALDF have worked with judicial officers and local communities to provide training on the link in Delaware, Virginia and in other communities. Technical assistance, such as review and input on the development of Virginia’s benchcard on the dissolution of protective orders to include animal welfare, is provided upon request and remains and important part of our project. If you are interested in training or technical assistance on the links between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence and what judges need to know and can do, please contact Dr. Martha-Elin Blomquist, NCJFCJ Senior Site Manager, at email@example.com.”
Judicial officers and experts in areas such as domestic violence, child welfare, and animal forensics have co-lead a series of webinars on the link and provided practical guidance for courts and communities on best and promising practices in addressing animal cruelty in the context of the range of cases before family courts that includes juvenile offending, elder abuse, and hoarding.