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Institute for Family Violence Studies

Institute for Family Violence Studies
Karen Oehme, J. D.
Program Director

College of Social Work
C2309 University Center
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2570

Contact Info.
phone number(850)644-6303
fax number(850)644-8331
Map of Campus


Family Violence Online Tutorials

Florida State University School of Social Work

Institute for Family Violence Studies


Competency Based Training Manual


Florida's Animal Abuse Investigators

Over the past decade, the link between animal abuse and domestic violence has become clearer. Numerous studies have found violent criminals and serial killers to be common perpetrators of animal abuse, and since abusers aim to hurt anything victims hold dear, family pets are also popular targets. As a result, the Institute decided to train Animal Abuse Investigators to identify human abuse while investigating animal abuse. As these investigators make home visits, they would be in a unique position to identify and assist isolated rural victims of abuse who might otherwise go unnoticed.

Domestic Violence: A Competency-Based Training Manual for Animal Abuse Investigators was developed specifically for those who work in the field of animal services. In addition to chapters on the dynamics of domestic violence, overcoming rural barriers, and utilizing community resources, it contains information specific to the effects of domestic violence on animals as both victims and perpetrators. The heart of the manual teaches professionals to spot the signs of abuse, how to ask a potential victim about abuse, and how to refer victims to the proper agencies for services.

The Animal Abuse Investigator Training Pilot Project was intimated in January, 2000 and trained over 90 investigators. The project also sparked cross-training efforts whereby domestic violence professionals were provided with animal abuse training. Currently, Florida Legislators are considering a bill that would require cross training of animal abuse and domestic violence professionals statewide. With sustained funding the Institute hopes to continue providing these much needed training events.

· Florida's Women, Infants, & Children (WIC) and Other Nutrition ProgramStaff
 Meals on Wheels Volunteers & Other Elder Services Staff
·  Florida's Animal Abuse Investigators