Domestic violence shelter partnerships and veterinary student attitudes at North American veterinary schools and colleges. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Animal abuse and domestic violence are linked issues, and pet ownership is reported to play a crucial role in the choice to leave an abusive situation. Although veterinarians witness the effects of abuse and violence over the course of their careers, they have limited training regarding these issues. One mechanism for educating veterinary students while providing a service for victims of domestic violence is the creation of partnerships between domestic violence shelters and veterinary schools. These extracurricular programs can provide both care for pets belonging to victims of domestic violence and an educational platform for student participants. The goals of this study were to determine the prevalence and characteristics of domestic violence shelter partnerships (DVSPs) at North American veterinary teaching hospitals and to determine whether the presence of a DVSP was associated with increased awareness among veterinary students regarding animal abuse and domestic violence. Nine of 33 veterinary schools surveyed described a DVSP program. Students at schools with DVSPs associated with their veterinary teaching hospitals were significantly more likely to indicate that their awareness of the link between animal abuse and domestic violence had increased during veterinary school. Most veterinary students reported that they felt poorly prepared to handle domestic violence and animal abuse issues in the workplace. This study indicates that extracurricular DVSPs are a viable means of educating veterinary students regarding domestic violence and animal abuse. A need for improved education on these topics in veterinary schools across North America is identified.

published proceedings

  • J Vet Med Educ

author list (cited authors)

  • Creevy, K. E., Shaver, S. L., & Cornell, K. K

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Creevy, Kate E||Shaver, Stephanie L||Cornell, Karen K

publication date

  • January 2013