NSPCC and RSPCA join forces to tackle abuse

Two of the biggest names in the charity sector have joined forces to spearhead a campaign raising awareness of the link between child and animal abuse.

The NSPCC and the RSPCA are leading the Links coalition, which also includes The Blue Cross, Women's Aid and the Young Abusers Project and the Association of Chief Police Officers.

The coalition will publish a leaflet titled Understanding the Link, which aims to raise awareness among professionals working with children, families or animals about the links between cruelty to animals and children and domestic violence.

"It's significant that so many different organisations with such diverse agendas have come together over this issue," said Fiona Becker, senior training and development consultant at the NSPCC's national training centre.

"Many of the organisations involved are used to working very independently from the rest of the sector and the potential of what we can do together is untold."

Becker said that the coalition would also explore how the voluntary sector can work together more effectively on the wider issue of domestic violence.

"Given what we know about the links between child and animal abuse, it is important that we all work together to improve how we talk to each other," she said.

"It is also up to us to help educate professionals such as vets and childcare workers about what to look out for."

Jackie Ballard, chief executive at the RSPCA, said that the coalition could work as a blueprint for future cross-sector partnerships between voluntary agencies.

As part of the campaign, the NSPCC has commissioned a two-year research project exploring the links between child abuse and animal maltreatment.

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