Canadian Violence Link Coalition

The relationship between violence against people and animals is commonly known as the Violence Link. Evidence-based research shows that violence against animals and violence against people are not distinct and separate problems. Rather, they are part of a larger pattern of violent crimes that often co-exist. Cases of partner abuse, gang violence, youth crime, assault, homicide, sexual assault and child abuse also commonly include animal abuse.

The Canadian Violence Link Coalition (CVLC) was formed in 2018 as a result of issues brought forward at Humane Canada’s 2017 Canadian Violence Link Conference. The Coalition brings together professionals working to prevent and address violence against people and animals in more than 10 Canadian sectors and is committed to advancing awareness, education and training about the link between violence against humans and violence against animals. Its goal is to introduce violence prevention and intervention strategies across the country and to establish policies and practices that make our communities safer.

Members of the Coalition Coordinating Committee

Barbara Cartwright – Chief Executive Officer, Humane Canada

Tracy Porteous – Executive Director, Ending Violence Association of BC

Marcie Moriarty – Chief Prevention and Enforcement Officer, BC SPCA

Dallas Mack – Ontario Crown Counsel

Destiny Bedwell – Communications and Marketing Coordinator, Ontario 211 Service

Teena Stoddart – Sergeant, Ottawa Police Service

Dr. Andrew Sparling, DVM – Board Member, Ontario Veterinary Medical Association

Christine Hartig – Strategic Support Officer, By-law and Regulatory Services, City of Ottawa

Kaitlin Bardswich – Communications and Development Coordinator, Women’s Shelters Canada

Dayna Desmarais – President, SafePet Ottawa

Frances Wach – Executive Director, Saskatchewan SPCA

Mandy MacLeod – Crown Prosecutor, Alberta Crown Prosecution Service

Michael Kelen – Retired Judge

Michelle Lem - Canadian Veterinary Medical Association

Kathy Powelson - Executive Director, Paws for Hope Animal Foundation

Canadian Violence Link Coalition Projects Underway:

  1. Violence Link Training for police officers across the country
  2. An amendment to section 160 of the Criminal Code of Canada (bestiality)
  3. Amending ViCLAS book to add animal abuse questions
  4. Amending threat assessment questionnaires to add animal abuse questions
  5. The National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty’s 2018 Crown prosecutor training
  6. Hosting the second-ever Canadian Violence Link Conference in 2019
  7. Judicial training on the Violence Link, spearheaded by The Honourable Justice Michael A. Kelen (retired)
  8. Animal abuse statistics recorded by Statistics Canada (police statistics)