Staying home is the best way to slow the spread of COVID- 19, yet home is not always a safe place for people who experience domestic violence. Due to increased demands on organizations providing services to families escaping abuse with their pets, Bayer Animal Health is committing $100,000 to help alleviate the amplified strains being put on domestic violence shelters and programs across the country. Organizations can apply for the funding this month through the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). Established 40 years ago, the nonprofit reaches over 3,000 domestic violence shelters, programs and other agencies nationally by serving survivors and advocates.
According to NCADV, 10 million people are physically abused by an intimate partner each year, and 20,000 calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines each day. With COVID-19 forcing people to remain in their homes, these statistics are dramatically increasing.
“No one should have to choose between their safety and their pet,” said Lauren Dorsch, Deputy Director, Communications, Bayer Animal Health U.S. “We know that there are new difficulties and complexities in assisting survivors during this pandemic. Our hope is that this funding will help domestic violence shelters fill that gap that exists for families escaping domestic violence with their pets.”
Long committed to supporting families with pets, Bayer has been an advocate for the expansion of services to keep people and their pets safe together for over a decade. While a strong network of domestic violence shelters exists to provide women and children a safe place, there is a significant unmet need existing for families seeking shelter with their pets. Nearly half of abused women stay in their abusive relationships out of concern for the welfare of her beloved pet.
"Home is often times a dangerous place for survivors of domestic violence, and COVID-19 exacerbates the circumstances, due to the abusers' ability to further control," said Ruth Glenn, president and CEO of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. "Victims often have to consider not only their own safety, but the safety of their pets. They might not seek (or be able to seek) safety because they are also fearful their pet may be harmed or even killed by the abusive person, if left behind. With assistance from Bayer, shelters will now have the resources to help families who find a way to leave with their pets, ranging from housing fees to accommodate pets to veterinary bills and pet food."
This funding program is open to 501(c)(3) domestic violence shelters with an on-site pet facility or domestic violence shelters who may need funding to help accommodate pets in the interim. To apply for funding or learn more about required criteria, click here. Deadline to apply is May 27, 2020. Recipients will be announced mid-June.