Lucy’s Project raises funds for animal, child and adult DV victims
FOUNDER of Lismore-based Lucy's Project, Anna Ludvik, is fundraising to hold a conference that will raise awareness of animals, children and adults in domestic violence situations.
Ms Ludvik founded Lucy's Project in 2013 and since held the first of an annual conference last year.
It was inspired and named after her stillborn daughter.
She said further research was required into the effects on animals in domestic violence situations in Australia.
That's why the upcoming conference will look towards international examples of how the issues have gained mainstream traction and understanding.
"We need to put theory into practice in Australia," she said.
"The issue's much more known overseas, but the need is just as big in Australia yet it's not an issue that's recognised.
"So this year's conference will be looking at how it's been successfully implemented overseas."
In a 2014 study with Domestic Violence New South Wales, University of Sydney vet, Dr Lydia Tong, who is also the Vice President of Lucy's Project, found around 70% of women who were escaping violent homes also reported pet abuse.
"It seems almost trivial, like a really unimportant thing, until you put it out there in context," Ms Ludvik said.
"It's one of those causes that just grabs you when you get to hear more about the facts and details.
"I care about animals because they matter, they suffer too, but people don't realise it becomes a human issue."
Ms Ludvik said animals are targeted in a number of ways in domestic violence situations.
"One is that sometimes the pet is abused instead of the human, to demonstrate the perpetrators sense of their own power or importance or what they would do if the victim didn't do what they were told," she said.
"For children, animals are essential to their fantasy lives and their creative lives ... they relate to animals a lot sooner than they relate to other humans, and when they see an animal abused it affects them on a very deep psychological level."
Ms Ludvik said another issue was that people who were dependent on their animal may not leave a domestic violence situation until they have found somewhere safe for the pet as well.
The upcoming Lucy's Project conference will be held on November 5-6.
Lucy's Project is selling $25 raffle tickets to bring in guest speakers from interstate and overseas.
To buy a ticket visit lucysproject.com/current-projects/thermomix-raffle/
To buy a ticket to the conference visit http://www.trybooking.com/KSHX