Rochelle Stevenson (Sociology)

Rochelle Stevenson

Dr. Rochelle Stevenson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Thompson Rivers University, co-chair of CSA’s Animals in Society research cluster, and faculty member with the Animal and Interpersonal Abuse Research Group (AIPARG).

At the core of Rochelle’s research is the human-animal relationship. Her research has highlighted the importance of this connection in myriad spaces, from work validating grief after the loss of a companion animal, to research on attempts to change animal cruelty provisions in the Criminal Code. Rochelle’s recent research sits at the intersection of interpersonal violence and violence against animals. She has examined the avenues available to women who want to leave an abusive relationship but do not want to leave their companion animal in a situation of potential harm, to, together with AIPARG colleagues, national surveys of both residents of domestic violence shelters and shelter staff on the issue of animal abuse and mistreatment. Her research projects have also approached the issue of interpersonal violence and animal mistreatment from a different perspective: that of men who had committed abuse against their partner and who had companion animals in the home.

Rochelle maintains an intersectional and anti-oppression foundation in her research and activism with two overarching goals: naming, understanding, and stopping violence in any form, and advocating for social justice via the inclusion of animals in social policy.

For more about Rochelle and her work, head to her web page at

Selected Works:

Fitzgerald, Amy; Barrett, Betty; Stevenson, Rochelle; Fritz, Patti. (2021). Domestic violence and animal abuse In John Devaney; Caroline Bradbury-Jones; Stephanie Holt; Rebecca Macy; and Caroline Øverlien, (Eds.) Routledge Handbook of Domestic Violence and Abuse, Routledge.

Fitzgerald, A., Barrett, B., Stevenson, R., & Chung, C.H. (2019). Animal maltreatment in the context of intimate partner violence: A manifestation of power and control? Violence Against Women. doi 10.1177/1077801218824993

Barrett, B., Fitzgerald, A., Peirone, A., Stevenson, R., & Cheung, C.H. (2018). Help-seeking among abused women with pets: Evidence from a Canadian sample. Violence and Victims, 33(4). doi 10.1891/0886-6708. 

Stevenson, R., Fitzgerald, A., & Barrett, B. (2018). Keeping pets safe in the context of intimate partner violence: Insights from domestic violence shelter staff in Canada. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 33(2), 236-252. doi 10.1177/0886109917747613. 

Barrett, B., Fitzgerald, A., Stevenson, R., & Chung, C.H. (2017). Animal maltreatment as a risk marker of more frequent and severe forms of intimate partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. doi 10.1177/0886260517719542 

Fitzgerald, A., Barrett, B., Schwom, R., Stevenson, R., & Chernyak, E. (2016). Standardizing the Measurement of Animal Maltreatment in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence: Development of The Partner's Treatment of Animals Scale. Anthrozoos, 29(4), 611-625.

Fitzgerald, A., Stevenson, R. & Verbora, A. (2016). Sociological theories of animal abuse. In C.L. Reyes & M.P. Brewster (Eds.) Animal cruelty: A multidisciplinary approach to understanding (2nd ed.). Carolina Academic Press.