Amy J. Fitzgerald received her B.A. (Hons.) degree in criminology and her M.A. in sociology, specializing in criminology, from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. She is currently a doctoral candidate in sociology at Michigan State University in the United States. Her areas of interest and specialization include gender studies, animal studies, environmental sociology, and social research methods.
2005 0-7734-6189-2 Recent studies have found high rates of coexistence between animal abuse and family violence. This study explores the resultant questions of how and why animal abuse and other forms of family violence frequently coexist. To address these questions information was gathered through in-depth, semi-standardized interviews with abused women who had at least one pet while they were with their abusive partner. This study focuses on the participants’ experiences and interpretations of how and why these forms of abuse coexist, and the degree to which the animal abuse perpetrated by their partners was instrumental or expressive. It is demonstrated in this book that animal abuse was predominantly instrumentalized by the participants’ abusive partners to gain power and control over them and their children, and it was additionally perpetrated out of jealousy in cases where the pet posed a threat to the attention and devotion the abuser received from his partner. Recommendations are made in light of these research findings, and further research in this area, and human-animal relations more generally, is urged.