Kelly McClurg, Applied Masters | School of Human Ecology, UW-Madison
The concept of “the link” was established through research and studies that reveal a correlation between animal cruelty and violence against humans, including domestic abuse, child abuse, and violent crime. In other words, someone who commits acts of animal cruelty, may be more likely to be violent towards humans.
For my Capstone Project I worked with Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims (SAAV), a nonprofit based in Madison, WI, to create an awareness-raising guide about “the link” in conjunction with their SAAV Teen program. SAAV Teen strives to raise awareness of how “the link” may intersect with teens’ lives, and to encourage teens to develop compassion and kindness towards animals.
The guide targets education professionals working with teens in a school setting and provides foundational information for educators to learn more about how “the link” may impact their teen students. It includes appendices with guidance on how to talk with teens about “the link” and reporting animal cruelty, and activities for encouraging teens’ empathy and compassion towards animals. This project raises awareness of “the link” while encouraging behaviors of kindness and understanding that make communities safer and more enjoyable for us all.
I invite you to view the presentation of my project below, which includes embedded audio. A special thank you to all of the education professionals who took the time to provide their input for the SAAV Teen Guide.
*Please note that while this content does reference distressing topics such as animal cruelty, domestic abuse, and teen dating violence, this presentation does not contain any graphic images or descriptions.