3. How will dogs in court help child victims and witnesses?
Giving evidence can be a daunting experience, especially for children and victims of sexual abuse or violent crimes. Support dogs play an invaluable role in stress-relief, comfort and support.
Dogs provide non-judgmental affection which can help witnesses feel more relaxed. Evidence proves they have calming effects, including lowering heart rate and improving mental clarity, which has the added benefit of a better quality of evidence.
Having a support dog present when the child gives evidence can significantly reduce their anxiety, making court days less stressful for victims, witnesses and their families.
Through this program, we hope to increase a child victim’s potential for joy on one of the most stressful days of their life.