Lucy Hale Is Raising Awareness About How Pets Play a Role in Domestic Violence

Lucy Hale, Instagram
Most pet owners treat their furry friends like family. To help raise awareness that pets are a huge factor in domestic violence, Pretty Little Liars alum Lucy Hale and her pup Elvis teamed up with the Purple Leash Project in honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. Together, the goal is to make pet parents aware of how abuse can affect our four-legged friends.
According to Hale, she's working to create safe places where people can escape abuse without having to abandon their pets, who often play a key role in providing emotional support. More importantly, sometimes men or women don't leave an abuser behind for fear of leaving their pets indoors.
"Pets are a big part of the family - Elvis is no exception," Hale wrote in an October 1 post on Instagram. "Many victims of domestic violence will stay where they are afraid of leaving their pets."
She continued: "One in three women and one in four men will experience domestic abuse in their lives. This is an issue that is very close to my heart, because who would we be without our pets? So in honor of #DomesticViolenceAwareness, I will take over the month Leadership by working with @purina and @redroverorg to raise awareness of the #PurpleLeashProject - a project dedicated to creating safer places for people and their pets to collectively avoid abuse. "
According to Purina's Purple Leash Project portal, only 10% of domestic violence shelters accept pets, although more than 70% of women in those shelters state that their abuser threatened, injured, or killed their pet in order to enforce control.
Because of their desire to keep their pet safe, nearly half of those abused choose to stay in their abusive situation rather than seek help.
"This lack of pet-friendly accommodation often leaves victims with a heartbreaking decision to endure abuse, either to stay with their pet, or to leave their pet behind," Hale said in a statement to People. "I was immediately passionate about this because I can't imagine having to make this choice. Nobody should have to."
"Purina has provided over $ 950,000 in grants to fund major renovations such as pet supplies, veterinary assistance, outdoor play areas, indoor and outdoor kennels, and more," continued Hale. "The Purple Leash Project is working to ensure that there is at least one animal-friendly shelter in every state. By 2025, 25% of domestic violence shelters in the US should be animal-friendly."
On October 22nd, both the Purple Leash Project and Hale are asking pet owners to raise awareness about animal abuse and ownership by posting a photo of themselves on Instagram and Facebook on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #PurpleLeashProject.
For more information on the relationship between pet ownership and domestic violence, please visit the Purple Leash Project's official website. There you can donate to the cause and learn how you can further raise awareness.
If you are a domestic violence survivor and need assistance, contact the national domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). You're not alone.

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