Target: Andrew Bridgman, CEO of New Zealand’s Ministry of Justice
Goal: Support legislation that would allow pets to be taken out of homes where domestic violence is thought to be occurring.
Pets may soon be granted legal protections in situations where people are abused. Activists need to take action to better ensure that both animals and people are safe in these dangerous situations.
An amendment that includes ‘coercive control’ as abuse would be added to a current legislative document entitled New Zealand’s Legislative Response to Family Violence. Such control includes acting in a way that aims to take away a victim’s sense of self or self-esteem and therefore makes it more difficult for a victim to leave the abusive situation. In this case, trying to coercively control someone else would include either threatening or hurting the family pet if the abuser were to leave. However, if protections were extended to animals, the animal would be taken out of the home of the abuser and this person would also likely not be permitted to have any contact with the animal.
It is important that such actions be taken in this type of situation because many women who have animals will not leave an abusive situation if they fear for the animal’s safety. Yet, if these women knew their animals would also be protected once they were gone, it would be much more likely they would successfully be able to leave and make a fresh start.
Sign this petition and urge officials to make these changes to the current legislation. Both people and animals should be guaranteed protections from abusers.
Dear Mr. Bridgman,
Better protections may soon be extended to pets that live in households where domestic violence occurs. It is important that such protections be granted so that animals are more likely to remain safe in such situations.
When an abuser tries to control someone, he is usually not only physically violent, but he also oftentimes mentally torments the person so badly that the person loses any sense of self and therefore has a harder time leaving the person committing the abuse. One way someone tries to gain such control over someone else is to threaten to either harm or kill the family pet if the person leaves.
The abused person usually does not leave in order to better ensure that the animal will remain safe. However, providing protections to pets in these situations would lead to the animal being placed in a safe location and may also lead to the abuser not being allowed to have contact with the former pet.
For all of these reasons, I encourage you to support these changes being made to current legislation. Neither people nor animals should ever have to remain in harm’s way when an abusive encounter may very well be the sad result of such a choice.
[Your Name Here]
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