Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence
Animal abuse is not just the result of a minor personality flaw in the abuser but a symptom of a deep mental disturbance. Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty toward animals don't stop there. A great many move on to make fellow humans their victims, and for many, the violence escalates to domestic violence and child or elder abuse. For some, the unchecked violence escalates to murder.
Much of the research supporting the following link comes from the United States, where the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appear in the records of serial rapists and murderers: