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New laws protect pets from domestic violence with AVOs in NSW

The pets of domestic violence victims in NSW will now also be legally protected when an apprehended domestic violence order is granted.

Attorney-General Mark Speakman says the protection of animals will now be automatically included in a standard Apprehended Domestic Violence Order, after reforms passed parliament.

'Perpetrators often use animals to coerce or control victims, threatening to hurt or kill pets to keep them in a relationship or as punishment for leaving,' Mr Speakman said in a statement on Monday.

The pets of domestic violence victims in NSW will also be legally protected when an apprehended domestic violence order is granted (stock image of woman holding a cat) 

 Domestic Violence NSW chief executive Delia Donovan said pets were an integral part of people's lives and perpetrators often used them to gain control, with threats to kill or hurt animals (pictured: stock image) 

'This cruelty and manipulation can leave victims terrified of the consequences for their beloved animals and can therefore delay or prevent them from leaving a violent situation. These reforms aim to help guard against this abhorrent form of abuse.'

Domestic Violence NSW chief executive Delia Donovan said pets were an integral part of some people's lives and perpetrators often used them to gain control, with threats to kill or hurt animals.

'These reforms are essential to improving the safety of people experiencing domestic violence and we wholeheartedly support them,' Ms Donovan said.

RSPCA NSW chief executive Steve Coleman said for too long the welfare of animals in domestic and family violence situations had been ignored.

'We are pleased to see the opportunity for more services to be equipped to support people and help animals live free from violence and abuse,' Mr Coleman said.

The NSW government has also awarded $500,000 to 19 women's refuges and animal welfare organisations to help support companion animals and victims escaping domestic violence.   

If you need help, call 1800 RESPECT 1800 737 732 or NSW Domestic Violence Line 1800 65 64 63. 

RSPCA NSW chief executive Steve Coleman said for too long the welfare of animals in domestic and family violence situations had been ignored (pictured: stock image of shiba inu) 

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