Tell Vermont Legislators to Support H.325 and Prohibit Animal Sexual Abuse
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Vermont is one of only eight states that have no laws whatever against the sexual abuse of animals (bestiality).
As one of the most progressive states in the nation, Vermont's failure to provide protection against this form of animal cruelty is shameful.
The links between physical and/or sexual abuse of animals and humans are well-established and unassailable.
Research indicates a connection between animal sexual abuse and other types of violent crimes. According to a 1986 study, 40% of the perpetrators of sexually motivated homicides who had been sexually abused as children also reported that they had sexually abused animals. One FBI study found high rates of animal sexual assault in the backgrounds of serial sexual homicide predators. The FBI NIBRS now tracks bestiality crimes nationwide.
Bestiality is a very real problem.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to quantify because most of the abuse occurs in secret and the victims can never tell. Beast Forum, an internet forum focused on bestiality, claims over 1.2 million users. An internet search will lead to graphic material describing and promoting the sexual abuse of animals. For every video posted a real animal was abused. Detailed how-to guides involving a variety of species, information on laws, diseases, and personal ads are readily available. Craigslist is another common venue for people seeking or offering sexual encounters with animals.
Why do we need this law?
In cases where the animal is physically injured or killed, animal cruelty laws can be applied. However, in other cases there is no obvious physical harm to the animal, or certain species are exempt from the anti-cruelty laws. As with child sexual abuse and adult rape, animal sexual abuse is an activity in which one party has no choice and cannot consent or refuse. When he/she initiates a sexual activity in which the other partner has no choice and must participate, the abuser leaves the realm of private action. Animals are unable to be fully informed, communicate consent, or speak out about their abuse. Bestiality is sexual coercion because the human has power and control over the animal, often in all aspects of the animal’s care and well-being. Thus, sex between human and animal cannot be considered consensual. Although some abusers may seek help on their own, most will not. The criminal justice system offers an opportunity to intervene in the life of the abuser and to protect future animal or human victims.
By protecting animals against violent sexual abuse, Vermont will also take an important step towards protecting humans from the same thing.
FOR VERMONT RESIDENTS: Please sign this petition to send a message to our Vermont legislators, especially the members of the House Committee on Judiciary, that it is long past time for Vermont to join with the 42 other states that already prohibit the abhorrent sexual abuse of animals.
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