Friday, March 27, 2015

Animal Abuse and Human Abuse: Partners in Crime!

When raising my family, we lived in a townhouse complex. A couple of my son's friends, Ross and Robin were outside playing one evening.  Checking on them, I noticed Ross had picked up a cat and began swinging it by the tail around and around many times...the cat with loud “MEOWS.”  Politely I requested he stop this cruelty to someone's pet. Reluctantly he did so and ran home.  In a few minutes his father appeared at my door reprimanding me for interfering with his son's behaviour. 

Acts of cruelty to animals are not mere indications
of a minor 'personality flaw' in the abuser.
They are symptoms of a deep mental disorder.

Research and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals, don't stop there: many of them move on to their fellow humans.  “Murderers...very often start by killing and torturing animals as kids,” says Robert K. Ressler who developed profiles  of serial killers for the FBI.  Studies have shown that violent and aggressive criminals are more likely to have abused animals as children.  Psychiatric patients who repeatedly tortured dogs and cats  found that all of them had high levels of aggression toward people.  The deadly violence that has shattered schools in recent years, has in most cases, begun with cruelty to animals.
Because ABUSERS target the powerless,  crimes against
animals, spouses, children and the elderly...go hand in hand.
Children may be repeating a lesson learned at home;
like their parents, they are reacting to anger or frustration.
Research is clear that there are connections between
animal abuse...a domestic abuse...and child abuse.

ABUSE is any behaviour used to gain and/or maintain power/control over another person...usually intentionally, even unintentionally if done habitually. Abuse is never the fault of the victim!

Emotional Abuse:  Violent outbursts of anger, put-downs/bullying, sarcasm, blame, threats (defined as 'Verbal Abuse' );  the silent treatment...forcing of degrading acts...controlling...isolation from family and friends...belittlement of character...threats of killing self, partner or children...are also indicators.

Physical Abuse:  Pushing, shoving, punching, choking, pinching, biting, spitting, striking, threatening with weapons, cutting, restraining, burning, pulling hair, with-holding medical treatment, etc.

Financial Abuse:  Allowing no access to money, running up bills, with-holding financial information, taking it/or belittling your financial contribution, threatening no financial support if you leave.

Sexual Abuse:  Forcing or coercing sex (rape), insisting on specified sexual acts, accusing partner of unfaithfulness, assaulting breasts or genitals.

Relationship Abuse is a pattern of abuse  and coercive behaviour
used to maintain power and control over a former or current partner...
can also be emotional, financial, sexual or physical
and can include threats, isolation and intimidation.
Relationship Abuse is caused by: Sense of Entitlement...A Belief They should have Power and Control Over Their Partner...Belief They Can Get Away With It...Learned Experience that Being Abusive Gets Them What They Want...Belief that Their Lives Should Take Priority!
The foregoing is currently referred to as 
(Reread my email introductory quote on this topic.)

Defined by the Mayo Clinic, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a mental disorder in persons who inflated sense of their own importance...a deep need for admiration and adoration...and a lack of empathy for others. Narcissists project illusions of themselves to control the other's perception of them.

Deep scars from Narcissistic Personality Disorder can cause hurt for years...even the rest of one's life!
The Narcissist, himself/herself may be unaware of the damage caused because it is (or has become) a natural habit for self-satisfaction.

School Abuse:  From my viewpoint, as a retired teacher, it is fully enlightening that 'the powers who be' are getting a positive handle on the bullying actions of students and taking action to lessen these abusive problems! 

Family Abuse:  Yes, this goes on at home and parents usually don't define it as abuse;  they call it discipline!  It is so easy to say to a child...”Don't do this...or Don;t do that!”  This being a 'negative' approach should be exchanged for a 'positive' statement  (e.g. Do This…or Do That) with supporting reasons to affect better and more desirable behaviour.

Child Abuse...Unrecognized in Our Era

Sherrie once wrote me:  At my  hair-cutting school, I witnessed mothers bringing in their daughters (who were not advised ahead of time) to have their hair shorn off and the little girls screamed  and cried their eyes out.  Most of us left the room and cried ourselves.  A Woman's Hair is Her Pride!

Yes, I went to a Catholic Private School...
my Mom cut all my hair off before attending...
traumatizing  for a Mom to do so!  Now you know why I treasure my long hair.

I replied to her:  I had a similar sister and I had long hair.  My scalp seemed sensitive to pain which I always experienced when Mom daily braided my hair.  One day she sent me to a small salon in the village (unknown to me) to have my hair cut!!!!!  I was mortified!  Then when I sadly returned  home in tears to the farm, feeling very hairless, I was doing my portion of cutting the grass (for which my sister and I were weekly responsible). While pushing this lawn-mower...a bird pooped on my head! I WAS TOTALLY UPSET!

Sherrie and I now reflect and agree...these were forms of  Child Abuse.
Parents should discuss matters like this with their children.

In Junior Grade School, my son was late returning home one afternoon. He was in tears due to having 'been strapped' on bare hands by the Principal.  For a couple or three years, he had to wear corrective glasses. Whether it was because of his glasses or classified as an “Advanced Student” (whatever the reason, I didn't know), boys were teasing him and after school dismissal, were throwing stones at him.  This continued for a few days...finally he retaliated and threw stones at them. These bullies reported him to the Principal.

Merle Baird-Kerr...March 16, 2015


  1. MEG COMMENTS: "Very good article. I wish more people would read this. thank you for writing this one."

  2. Fortunately, today we are better informed about this 'act of cruelty'. And it takes 'many voices' to obtain action!!! For me, it was a lengthy process to organize the many available facts into an appreciative reading ~ interspersing actual experiences.
    Thank you, Meg, for your constant interest.

  3. MY SON ADDS HIS VIEW: "Psychiatric patients who repeatedly tortured dogs and cats, found that all of them had high levels of aggression toward people. Yes, psychiatric patients must be quite good at assessing the
    aggressive feelings of animals they tortured!"

  4. Your comments are appreciated. Concerning childhood torture of animals, I firmly believe (as I read in research) that the child who fought against family discipline, resulting in bad behaviour...did so out of spite... took out his aggression on an animal...thus giving him/her some sort of satisfaction/self-gratification!!!

  5. DILU COMMENTS: "Excellent article! I really feel this should be
    in the Toronto Star. I have forwarded this writing to many of my friends. You have written it so well and to the point; so well researched. Amazing and so true!"

  6. Thank you, Dilu,.I respect your thoughts/opinions on this topic.
    It needs to be told as many fail to understand the types of abuse and the severe impact and 'scars' abuse has on others. Most believe it is soley physical and/or domestic abuse.

  7. DAVID WRITES: "On your posting of Animal Abuse, I cannot say in polite terms what I think of those who do these heinous acts. Firmly, I believe that those who are caught doing such atrocities should be subject to the same action.
    Further: As an ex-military person and a descendent from a long line of soldiers, it gladdened my heart to read the A&S Highlanders are honoured by the City of Hamilton. ALBA GU BRAGH!"

  8. Thank you David for your terse comments about Animal Abuse...yet how cruel humans can also be...not only in the physical aspect.