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'Safeguarding Animal & Human Survivors of Sexual and Domestic Abuse' (SAHSDA) is an international guest speaking, training, research and consultancy organisation working to raise awareness of the use of companion animals as a tactic of coercive control as well as animal sexual abuse (zoophilia and zoosadism). 


We are committed to challenging and changing social and cultural norms which accept and perpetuate domestic abuse, including coercive control, and cruelty and neglect of animals. Our aim is to provide support and encourage professionals from all sectors and disciplines to be professionally curious, recognise the signs of abuse against animals and humans and understand their roles and responsibilities to safeguard and protect all survivors of abuse, regardless of species. 


Our clients and partners include police forces, local authorities, social care services, animal behaviourists and trainers, veterinarians, human & animal charities and third sector specialist services, private organisations, universities and beyond. 

Meet Our Founder.

Maya is a specialist in the field of domestic abuse and a subject matter expert in sexual violence and the use of companion animals as a tactic of coercive controlling behaviour, having over a decade's experience working in the field.


She spent several years supporting and advocating on behalf of survivors of sexual and domestic abuse as a qualified Independent Sexual Violence Advisor, and is passionate about utilising a trauma informed, needs led, strengths based, intersectional and anti-oppressive approach.


Maya is also a qualified Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Trainer, having provided high-quality education on a variety of related subjects to a multitude professionals including Police, Social Workers, Frontline VAWG Specialists, Housing and more.


Maya is a champion for all animals, but is especially interested in dogs, and is currently building her expertise in canine behaviour and wellbeing. This is apt as the most common species abused within domestic abuse households and by zoophiles (people who are sexually attracted to animals) is dogs. Since 2019, Maya has delivered training to canine behaviourists and trainers on the use of dogs as a tactic of coercive control, their responsibilities to safeguard adult, child and canine clients under the law and the impact of trauma on both humans and dogs. She published her compliance to partnership planet model for living with dogs in 2021 and Dog Abuse Matrix Model in 2024.


Maya is passionate about using a truly trauma informed approach for human and animal survivors of abuse, and believes in the strength of all survivors, regardless of species, to adapt and grow post-abuse.

A Selection of Maya's Key Credentials

In Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence and Survivor Support

  • BA (hons) Feminist History

  • LLM in Human Rights Law

  • Level 2 in Counselling Skills, Morley College, 2022

  • Level 3 Certificate in Recognising & Responding to Economic Abuse, Surviving Economic Abuse, 2021

  • Qualified Independent Sexual Violence Advisor

  • 6 years experience providing frontline emotional support and advocacy to women, men and non-binary survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence

  • Trauma Informed Approach to Supporting Victims/Survivors of Sexual
    Violence, The Survivor's Trust, 2023

  • Working with Trauma, Carolyn Spring, 2022

  • Gender Responsive Practice & Trauma Informed Skills, Forensic Psychological Services, 2021

  • Becoming a Trauma Informed Practitioner, Victim Focus, 2021

  • Working with Male Victims of Domestic Abuse, RESPECT, 2021

  • Understanding Animal Welfare in Violent Homes, Virtual College, 2021

  • Links Group Volunteer - worked on the Education & Training Workstream 

  • 5 Years working as a Qualified Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Trainer for a national Welsh charity:

In Canine Behaviour & Wellbeing

  • L.E.G.S Applied Ethology Family Dog Mediator

  • Somatic Self-Resilience for Traumatised Dogs, Laura Donaldson, 2024

  • Creator of the Compliance to Partnership Planet Model for Living with Dogs, 2021

  • Creator of the Dog Abuse Matrix, 2024

  • Emotional Freedom Techniques/Clinical Tapping for Dogs Impacted by Trauma, Laura Donaldson, 2023

  • Why becoming Trauma-Informed will change everything you do with dogs, Laura Donaldson, 2023

  • Unpacking the Emotional Experience of Dogs, Dog Centred Care, 2022

  • Trauma Informed Working for Dog Professionals, Dr Holly Tett, 2022

  • Creating Safety, Freedom & Connection for Dogs Webinar Series, Dr Holly Tett, 2022

  • Positive Dog Training for Ethical Owners, Canine Principles, 2020

  • CPD Courses in Canine Body Language and Canine Play Behaviour, 2019-2023

Our Mission

Our Mission

We want a world free of domestic and sexual abuse, for humans and animals.


Together, we will move closer to achieving that goal.

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Our Aims

1. We promote the prevention of domestic and sexual abuse against humans and animals from happening in the first place.

2. We want to protect all survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, regardless of species. We will do this through campaigning, lobbying and education.

3. We want to help improve the response to domestic and sexual abuse of humans and animals by raising awareness of the signs of potential abuse and by promoting a person or animal centred, trauma informed, needs led and strengths based approach to support.

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Our Mission

Our Values

We are Survivor Centred

We centre survivor voice and experience always, regardless of species. We promote a survivor centred, intersectional and anti-oppressive response to disclosures of abuse. 

We are Collaborative

Working together is the only way to ensure the best, most holistic response for survivors and bring about an end to domestic and sexual abuse against humans and animals. We all have a part to play.

This issue is an interdisciplinary one and therefore requires the input of those with lived experience, experts from different fields and organisations. SASHDA welcomes the opportunity for collaborative working.

We are Curious

Curiosity is a critical skill for transformative growth and change. We believe it's essential to ask questions, to challenge assumptions, and to seek out new perspectives that can help the cause. We recognise we are always learning.

We are Courageous

We believe in standing up for what is right, even if that isn't the easiest route. We are asking those we speak with and train to act bravely when they suspect abuse and SASHDA believes in practicing what we preach.


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SAHSDA sits on several working groups and holds memberships to different bodies and organisations. You can find a selection below.

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