Pet violence

The knackers. Among the top in various anti-ratings (suicides, alcoholism), Belarus ranks penultimate in terms of violence against animals. Recently, regimen approved the law that allows children from the age of 8 to be taken hunting to kill animals. Most animal protection organizations were liquidated by the regime (Vitebsk DOBRIK, the LOVEBRIL Center for Animal Lovers, The Sun for All, Despite (Borisov), the Four Paws Public Association (Mogilev), and others). Housing and communal services often kill animals right in the yards, at playgrounds in front of all people. Animals are treated worse than in Belarus only in Iran — where they are going to ban pets altogether because they are “symbols of the West.”

How does it matter to people? The fact is that criminology has known a long-established connection between cruelty to animals, cruelty in the family, and other forms of violence in society. Cruelty to animals is one of the most powerful predictors of criminal behavior. Those who are cruel to animals are 5 times more likely to be arrested for violence against people, 4 times more likely to steal, and 3 times more likely to consume drugs. It is not surprising that many sadists and murderers, for example, a resident of St. Petersburg fighting for the LPR, professing fascism, even before the war began, engaged in animal husbandry with impunity, publicly cut off and ate the head of a puppy, called for the murder of dogs, homeless people and children.

If the child was a witness or accomplice of domestic violence, then there is a high probability that he will repeat it. About half of the criminals abused animals in childhood. The graduation hypothesis suggests that cruelty to animals precedes future aggressive behavior with people, so 80% of rapists were cruel to animals, and if you see how someone is cruel to animals, there is a high probability that it is a criminal. So, in 88% of cases of violence against children, pets were also abused, and 76% of those who raised their hands against animals beat family members. Child victims of violence also often abuse animals, which increases the risk that they will grow up to be cruel. So the vicious circle of violence closes through generations forming one big torture chamber.

What to do? Even the ancient philosopher Pythagoras of Samos warned: “Severely punish your child guilty of killing an insect: homicide begins with this.” At an early age, children can be cruel — because they are still just exploring the world and do not understand, and do not realize that they can cause pain. It is very important here to show an example of the humane treatment of animals, to protest against cruelty, to talk about animals, to condemn manifestations of cruelty, and, most importantly, to be kind to yourself. The child must clearly understand that cruelty is unacceptable. And if you get him a pet, then taking care of him (pet therapy) reduces the level of aggressiveness in children in the future. Teach your child how to save a worm — this is important for saving both the child and the worm.

Childhood Cruelty to Animals: A Tri-national Study Child Psychiatry & Human Development 40(4):527–41

A Qualitative Study of Children’s Accounts of Cruelty to Animals: Uncovering the Roles of Trauma, Exposure to Violence, and Attachment J Interpers Violence 2022 May;37(9–10):NP6405-NP6438.

Could Animal-Assisted Therapy Help to Reduce Coercive Treatment in Psychiatry? Front Psychiatry. 2019; 10: 794.