Companion-animal-inclusive domestic violence practice: Implications for service delivery and social work


  • Nik Taylor University of Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Heather Fraser Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • Damien W. Riggs Flinders University, South Australia



Companion animals, domestic violence, victims/survivors, service provision, social work


INTRODUCTION: Based on an understanding of links between human- and animal-directed domestic violence, this article: 1) argues for companion-animal inclusive domestic violence service delivery; and 2) reflects on the challenges this offers to social work and the human services.

APPROACH: We start by considering the importance of companion animals in many people’s lives and then offer an overview of material on “the link” between human- and animal-directed violence, specifically as it pertains to domestic violence.

CONCLUSIONS: Implications for service design and provision are discussed. We conclude with brief comments about the importance of centring animals in future considerations of human– animal violence links and outline how this offers an opportunity to challenge and re-think the humanist foundations on which traditional social work is built.


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How to Cite

Taylor, N., Fraser, H., & Riggs, D. W. (2020). Companion-animal-inclusive domestic violence practice: Implications for service delivery and social work. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 32(4), 26–39.



Original Articles I