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Durham University

Department of Sociology

Sociology Department Staff

Publication details for Prof Catherine Donovan

Nik Taylor, Damien Riggs, Catherine Donovan, Tania Signal & Heather Fraser (2019). People of Diverse Genders and/ or Sexualities Caring for and Protecting Animal Companions in the Context of Domestic Violence. Violence Against Women 25(9): 1096-1115.

Author(s) from Durham


This article reports on a thematic analysis of open-ended questions about how humans respond to violence directed toward animals in the context of violent human relationships, derived from an Australian–U.K. survey of people of diverse genders and/or sexualities. From the 137 responses, three major themes were identified: (a) animals are an important source of support, (b) humans actively protect animal companions, and (c) witnessing animal abuse can trigger leaving violent relationships. The findings offer unique insights for practitioners into the help-seeking needs of people of diverse genders and/or sexualities who live with animal companions in the context of domestic violence.