About Us

Increasing research and clinical evidence suggests that there are inter-relationships, commonly referred to as ‘links’, between the abuse of children, vulnerable adults and animals. A better understanding of these links can help to protect victims, both human and animal, and promote their welfare.

Our Vision

A world free from the abuse of humans and animals

Our Mission

We raise awareness of the link between the abuse of people and animals through support, training and inter-agency working.

Our Values

We educate with compassion

We communicate and collaborate

We are supportive and non-judgemental

We work with respect and sensitivity

We promote good human & animal welfare

We are evidence-based and empathetic


Our Strategic Objectives – 2029

  1. Develop the Links Group as a sustainable organisation (2021)
  2. Deliver one under-grad training course per year in all UK vet schools by 2020
  3. Deliver 3 funded LVTI days per year alongside partner organisations at different locations across the UK
  4. Develop an LVTI online training course for vet teams (2020)
  5. Create a suite of resources and collateral for vet teams* (2020)
  6. To have over 1,000 safeguarding liaison officers in organisations (2029)
  7. To fully establish the Links Group as the go-to expert resource on this issue (2024)
  8. To increase the provision of pet fostering services across the UK (2025)
  9. To set appropriate standards for pet fostering services (2022)
  10. Establish an overarching and underpinning marketing and communications plan (2020)

Key achievements to date:

  • More referral between professions
  • First successful RSPCA prosecution in Non Accidental Injury
  • First successful Scottish SPCA prosecution in Non Accidental Injury
  • Recognising abuse in animals and humans, giving advice to veterinary surgeons and other veterinary employees
  • Veterinary undergraduate training
  • The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has added an annexe to the Guide to Professional Conduct providing advice on breaching confidentiality in certain circumstances
  • Pet Fostering Services are more widespread
  • Understanding the Links” leaflet giving advice to professionals and available from the NSPCC

The Links Group aims to raise awareness of the ‘links’ to all professionals in the hope that agencies will work together to help prevent related cases from going undetected. As such, the Group is proactively drawing attention to this issue which has, until recently, been under-reported. What’s more, the member organisations are working closely together to suggest ways in which the ‘links’ could be incorporated more fully into overall working practice.