A highly successful series of workshops in March in Ohio has led to lasting connections that could improve interventions and lead to prevention in cases of animal abuse and family violence.
AWI sponsored workshops entitled “Cross Reporting for Humane and Human Services: A Species-Spanning Approach to Safer Families and Communities,” in Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo. These daylong programs drew social workers, humane agents, veterinarians, police, sheriffs, and prosecutors to discuss the relationship between animal abuse and interpersonal violence and the importance of cross reporting. The workshops described research, new strategies, public policy responses, and programs to prevent and respond to family violence and animal abuse. For many participants, this was their introduction to the link between these issues and the notion that all agencies—whether dedicated to protecting animals or humans—that come in contact with families in crisis should work together.
The sessions encouraged participants to connect with one another and identify future opportunities to coordinate efforts. In feedback after the workshops, many of the participants said they would incorporate the new information into their practice and committed to help launch the multidisciplinary teams that will facilitate cross reporting and cross training.