Over 70% of pet owning women entering shelters reported that their abuser had injured, killed or threatened family pets, and nearly 50% have delayed leaving an abusive situation out of fear of harm to their animals. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Carlisle-Frank, Frank and Nielsen, Pets as Pawns). A pet is often seen as the only form of non-judgmental support in the home. The bond this forges is so strong that many people would rather stay in the abusive situation than abandon their pets. As well, abusers can use pets as hostages to convince the survivor not to leave, or coerce survivors into returning to the abusive home. Allowing people to escape with their pets removes this barrier to safety. Including pets as a part of the family helps children understand that how pets are treated is important, and it validates their feelings for their pets.