Are You Afraid To Leave Your Abusive Relationship Because You Fear For Your Pet? You Have Options
Pets provide emotional support, unconditional love, and stability for those going through domestic violence. Unfortunately, abusers understand this too well, and most use this bond to manipulate, control, frighten, and even punish their victims. Sometimes, abusers will go to the extent of directing violence to the pets. If you are in an abusive relationship and have a pet, the chances are, you are afraid of leaving because you fear for your pet. This is especially true if your abuser has threatened to harm or kill your pet. If this is your situation, know that you have options and that the law protects your pet.
The Pets and Women Safety Act (PAWS)
In December 2018, the Pets and Women Safety Act (PAWS) was signed into law by former President Trump. PAWS was introduced to prevent people in abusive relationships from staying in such relationships because they fear for their pets. It was signed into law to protect victims of domestic violence from trauma caused by the mistreatment of their pets. The Pets and Women Safety Act was put in place to empower victims of domestic violence with the resources they need to leave their abusive relationships while still being able to continue caring for their pets.
The Pets and Women Safety Act led to the creation of programs meant to help domestic violence victims provide safe shelters to their pets when they decide to leave their abusers. The grants provided have over the years helped cover shelter costs and/or other boarding costs for facilities that accept pets. Also, the grants provided have supported the construction of new shelters that accept pets.
The Pets and Women Safety Act also led to the inclusion of pets in federal laws pertaining to interstate stalking, restitution, and protection order violations. According to the Act, it is an offense for someone to travel across state lines with the intention of violating a protection order against a pet. According to the Act, as a form of restitution, for any domestic violence case involving abuse against pets, the abuser is required to cover veterinary costs.
Your Options if You Are Afraid of Leaving an Abusive Relationship Because You Fear for Your Pet
So, what are your options if you are afraid of leaving an abusive relationship because you fear for your pet? If you are in an abusive relationship and have a pet, you can find a domestic violence shelter that can allow you to heal with the love and support of your pet. You can find a shelter that can allow you to keep your pet safe. Today, domestic violence shelters can provide emergency and transitional or short-term shelter and housing assistance for domestic violence victims with pets. Also, if, for example, a shelter does not offer onsite housing for animals, it can help you if you are fleeing domestic violence with your pet to secure safe housing or accommodation for yourself and your pet or related services like transportation.
Contact Our Jacksonville Domestic Violence Lawyers
Are you a domestic violence victim in need of someone who can fight for you and your pet and protect your rights and those of your pet? If so, do not hesitate to call our Jacksonville domestic violence lawyers at The Lasky Law Firm. Call us today at 904-399-1644 to find out more about how we can help you.