Pet lover and NFL Football star quarterback Russell Wilson speaks out against domestic violence in a moving Public Service Announcement that will be airing on national TV through the end of the year. The video was created by the Banfield Foundation‘s Safer Together Initiative.
Safer Together: When we help pets, we help people too
In a press release for the initiative, Russell says “I am honored to partner with the Banfield Foundation to help create a world in which victims never have to choose between their own safety and the safety of loved ones, including their pets.”
The Safer Together initiative aims to increase awareness of the link between domestic violence and animal abuse as part of the Banfield Foundation’s nationwide efforts to help people and pets find safety together.
The statistics on domestic violence and how it affects pets and their families are heartbreaking. According to the National Coalition on Domestic Violence (read the fact sheet here), over 70% of abusers threatened, hurt, or killed family pets, specifically with the intention of controlling, punishing, or frightening partners and their children. And most of that abuse happens in front of the children. Animal abusers are also twice as likely to abuse children and are more likely to have a history of violent crime, including prior animal abuse.
The harsh reality of trying to find a haven for yourself, your children, and your pets means that 19% of women delay leaving an abusive situation due to lack of care resources. For women without children, that number jumps to 33%. For women in abusive situations, pets are often a primary source of emotional support and affection.
Looking for ways to help? The Banfield Foundation provides some great tips here on how to volunteer your time and raise awareness in your area.
If you or someone you are close to is in an unsafe situation, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for help, advice, and tips on how to support those in need.