Katherine Goodman is a graduate of the Animal Law LLM program at Lewis & Clark Law School and is the founder of Stop Animal Sexual Assault (SASA), a non-profit that seeks to raise awareness about animal sexual assault in the United States.
I have always loved animals for as long as I can remember and have always wanted to help them. It did not take long during my undergraduate journey for me to realize that I could accomplish this with my passion for the law and justice. During my first semester in my Animal Law L.L.M program at Lewis and Clark Law School I found a cause that stole my heart. This cause is animal sexual assault or better known as bestiality.
Most people that I talk to about this issue, cannot believe that it is not illegal in all fifty states of the United States or that animal sexual assault is even an issue to begin with. Additionally, most do not know that this crime is not a felony in all current of the forty-five (45) States that do prohibit the act. Currently, it is only a felony in twenty-six (26) of the forty-five (45) States. Yet bestiality is more common than most people realize.
Bestiality is defined as a “paraphilia that is an affinity, attraction, or sexual attraction by a human to non-human animal.” This a crime that is intersects with domestic violence, child pornography, crush videos, child molestation, and sexual assault crimes. Animal sexual assault affects both humans and animals alike, but it is still a taboo and controversial subject that most people either tip-toe around or avoid all together. Awareness is the first step to prevent this horrible act of cruelty against animals from occurring and to bring justice to the victims of this crime. You cannot stop what you do not know.
I am creating an animal non-profit to educate, bring awareness, consult, and advocate for these victims to bring justice to non- human animal victims of this horrific crime. The moment I began researching this crime, my heart was captured by the voices of the victims, both humans and non-human animals’ voices, that go unheard. I hear your voice and the mission of my non-profit is to make sure the world hears their voices too. I have fallen in love with the problem, how to bring awareness and educate people on the effect of this crime. You cannot solve a problem without first falling in love with it.
Because animal Law in many ways is an unsettled field of law there is certain amount of creativity that can be used to help shine a light on an issue in a way it never has before. Bringing awareness to this crime could help shine a light on both human and non-human animal crimes in a way they never have before.
My non-profit is Stop Animal Sexual Assault (SASA), we have a website www.stopanimalsexualassault.org, Facebook, Instagram, twitter, and Tumblr. I cannot imagine working on any other project and I am so excited to see where this journey takes myself and this non-profit. #WeHearYouToo.
“He is your friend, your partner, your defender. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.” –Anonymous