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The Link Between Human & Animal Violence

Online Module

This program provides the participant with an in-depth overview of the Link including historical background, modern research, and suggestions for micro and macro level interventions. Topics covered include: definitions of animal abuse and the Link; domestic violence and animal abuse; children and animal abuse; elder abuse and animal abuse; animal hoarding; and animal fighting.

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of animals in context of a family system with attention to diversity.
  • Understand the various roles of violence toward animals and its human implications.
  • Assess personal and community responsibilities toward animal abuse regulations and laws.
  • Be able to identify social work interventions pertaining to the Link both on the micro and macro levels


Bethanie A. Poe, LMSW, is a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Social Work and a Fellow in the Veterinary Social Work program. Bethanie began studying the Link between human and animal violence as a MSSW intern with Veterinary Social Work. During her internship, Bethanie worked to increase public awareness and advocated for pets being allowed on Orders of Protection, which became the law in Tennessee in 2007. Her work experiences include the areas of domestic violence, child welfare, and mental health education.

Bethanie’s research interests include the Link between human and animal violence, child abuse, domestic violence, compassion fatigue, suicide prevention, social welfare policy, and teaching methods. She is currently working on her dissertation which focuses on cross reporting by animal welfare professionals in Tennessee.

Click here to register for the online module.

You will need to register for a UT College of Social Work Learning Management System account if this is your first time using this system.
***Veterinary Social Work will be switching to a new learning management systems on July 31st, 2017. If The Link module is started before July 31st, it will need to be completed before the update in order for progress to be saved. On July 31st, 2017 updated modules will be available on a new learning management system.***

The Link Between Human and Animal Violence has been approved by the NASW for 15 contact hours.

Face-to-Face Workshop

Our next Link Between Human and Animal Violence face-to-face workshop will be included in the spring Veterinary Social Work intensive held in Knoxville, March 2018.

Content for Compassion Fatigue and Conflict Management and Animal-Related Grief & Bereavement will also be covered.

Completion of the following online modules is required to attend the VSW Intensive: Compassion Fatigue and Conflict Management, Animal Related Grief & Bereavement, and The Link between Human and Animal Violence.

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