Extending victim protection to pets

Extending victim protection to pets

Over four years ago, a life-saving bill was introduced in Congress. By the end of 2018, it was finally signed into law.

The goal of the Pets and Women Safety, or PAWS, Act is to protect victims of domestic abuse from the further torment of threatened harm to their pets. Abusers often redirect their violence to pets, which also pressures victims into staying put. Only 3 percent of domestic violence shelters accept pets, so many victims remain in dangerous situations rather than leave their beloved buddies back home.

Thanks to the PAWS Act, a federal program will help victims access shelter for their pets. If animals have already suffered physical abuse, the law demands restitution for veterinary care.

It’s one more way the vulnerable can regain power over their lives —

and the lives of those they love.

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