Download the final report for the 2017 CFHS Canadian Violence Link Conference here:

Download the final report for the 2017 CFHS Canadian Violence Link Conference here

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About the 2017 CFHS Canadian Violence Link Conference

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2017 CFHS Canadian Violence Link Conference! #LINK2017 was an innovative, ground-breaking conference that examined the link between violence against human beings and animals, looking at the vulnerabilities in both populations and how they intersect. We brought together 203 professionals from 10 key Canadian sectors that work to prevent and address violence against people or animals for cross-sector training on how to stop the cycles of violence. This is the first time a national conference of this kind has happened in Canada, and it has kick-started much-needed action on violence.


"This conference was a wonderful opportunity to bring Canadians together in the effort to end violence against humans and animals. The "link" was covered from a variety of angles and, though it is a difficult topic to immerse ourselves in, we left feeling energized and inspired. We hope this becomes an annual event within Canada. The opportunity to see and hear what's going on across the country was comforting – we know we're not alone in our concern for 'the link' and in our efforts to end violence."
-Hayley Rose Glaholt, Executive Director, Link Coalition Toronto

"Although we in the animal welfare community have felt for years that there was a link between domestic violence and animal abuse, it was great to have our suspicions validated by professionals in the field. We now need to educate the general population and work together as a group of professionals to share information to make life safer for people and animals."
-Dave Rogers, Executive Director, Greater Moncton SPCA

"I could write a book on everything I learned. Of all the conferences I've attended, this has been the most enlightening. It has been truly eye opening and while there is tons of work to be done it feels like being on the edge of change, much like when domestic violence started to be recognized as a societal and not a family problem. This conference also highlighted the need for further education and sharing of information. All of this to say a huge thank you for this breakthrough conference."
-Anonymous Crown Prosecutor

"An excellent opportunity to learn from other sectors working in violence prevention, and to make important connections."
-Dr. Alice Crook, DVM, Atlantic Veterinary College

What were the learning and networking opportunities?

  • Skills to examine the correlation between human vulnerability and animal vulnerability
  • The opportunity to create new networks and relationships that will enhance your work toward ending violence
  • The opportunity to found a national coalition to work on the violence link via cross-sectoral collaboration
  • An understanding of the roots of animal abuse and its connection to interpersonal and societal violence
  • An ability to identify the indicators of interpersonal violence and the steps to responding
  • An ability to identify the indicators of animal abuse and the steps to investigation and prosecution of these crimes
  • The opportunity to explore community-level partnerships involving social service providers, prosecutors, animal welfare organizations, the courts and law enforcement agencies, veterinarians and municipal/provincial/federal governments

Who was this conference for?

This conference was intended for social workers, police officers, animal cruelty enforcement personnel, judges, anti-violence advocates, politicians, bureaucrats, Crown prosecutors, animal welfare advocates, policy experts, veterinarians and RVTs. More than 200 professionals from across Canada attended to focus on how our sectors will work together to improve Canada’s response to violence. This cross-sectoral collaboration led to powerful insights and ideas for more effective strategies to prevent and address violence against people and animals.

What is the violence link?

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. Research shows a significant correlation between animal cruelty and crimes of domestic violence, the physical and sexual abuse of children, sexual assault and other violent crimes. This emerging concept that looks at the relationship between violence against animals and people is commonly known as the violence link and has evolved to encompass prevention and intervention practices to reduce vulnerability in animals and humans. This conference will highlight the latest research and promising new practices to advance the criminal justice and social service responses to the violence link, bringing together the field’s leading experts in the areas of law, enforcement, behaviour, interpersonal violence, veterinary medicine and social services.



The CFHS Canadian Violence Link Conference took place at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre in Ottawa, Ontario December 4-6, 2017.








This conference is hosted and organized by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS). As Canada’s voice for animal welfare, CFHS drives positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals. As the convener and representative of the largest animal welfare community in Canada, CFHS advances the welfare of animals with a strong national voice that promotes the interests and concerns of animal welfare to government, policy makers, industry and the public. Visit for more information.

On-Site Resources

This conference featured a number of resource tables focused on helping individuals and organizations to be more effective and informed in their work on the violence link. Thank you SafePet Ottawa, Therapeutic Paws of Canada and Ontario 211 for exhibiting!

Resource tables at the CFHS Canadian Violence Link Conference

Lead Partners

We worked with the following lead partners for the 2017 CFHS Canadian Violence Link Conference:

211-Oval-OntarioTag-Vertcl-RGB_(4).png OCTEVAW_LOGO_200x200px.png Ottawa-Police-Services-Crest_200px_wide.jpg City_of_Ottawa_logo.png

Ontario 211 | Community and Social
Services Help Line

Ottawa Coalition To End
Violence Against Women

Ottawa Police Service

City of Ottawa