Animals included in coercive control legislation

Content warning: This article describes a case of intimate partner control and various forms of abuse.

MPs vote to criminalize coercive control to protect victims of intimate partner violence | CBC News

Members of Parliament have voted unanimously to criminalize coercive control, a pattern of behaviour that can perpetuate domestic abuse.

A new bill to criminalize coercive control has passed unanimously at the House of Commons and will move onto the next stage at Senate. Thanks to the advocacy of Humane Canada, this animals are recognized in the new legislation.

Coercive control often involves abusers threatening, manipulating, or harming companion animals to exert control over their human victims. The new bill would criminalize these behaviours, including:

  • Attempted and threatened violence toward an intimate partner’s animal
  • Controlling or attempting to control the manner in which an intimate partner cares for their companion animal

Thank you to everyone who advocated for animals to be included in this bill!

P.S. Did you know that the VHS offers a free trauma-informed training for people working in animal services, which includes stories from survivors of coercive control involving their companion animals? This training can help animal service providers to better understand the varied experiences of animal guardians in the community and to create safer, happier outcomes for animals and humans alike.