Comfort dogs

Get comfort dogs into Australian courts

Domestic violence and sexual assault are some of the most traumatic experiences imaginable -- and many survivors find the prospect of going to court extremely daunting.

Every day, survivors – including children – are expected to re-live what can be the worst experiences of their lives. It's intimidating, re-traumatising, and isolating. 

It doesn't have to be this way. Special "comfort dogs" like Coop (pictured) are being trained to sit with, comfort, and soothe survivors as they give evidence. 

In the US and Canada, comfort dogs are allowed in court. Australia isn't there yet -- but there's hope that with a new K9 Support pilot program recently established, and enough public support, Coop and other comfort dogs like her might make it there.

Can you show your support for getting comfort dogs into Australian courts? 

If you have been affected by sexual assault or domestic violence, you can access 24/7 counselling support at 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

More information (click to view)

In both Canada and the USA, courts now allow specially trained Labrador dogs to sit with, comfort, and soothe children and other vulnerable survivors as they give evidence.

The program is having a wide range of benefits. Survivors report that through the relationship with their "courthouse dog", the judicial process is less traumatising and they are able to give clearer evidence. Survivors of domestic violence are also more likely to see their case through.

Help us get to 5,000 signatures


Sign your support for getting comfort dogs into Australian courts:

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Latest activity

Kerrinna , 3977  /  signed 2017-10-04 13:05:33 +1100
"I meet coop the other day and she was of great comfort and support to a family member in a bad situation"
vanessa , 3977  /  signed 2017-10-04 12:27:21 +1100
"my sons adult girlfriend had to attend court just yesterday to testify against her father in a matter, has 2 weeks trial next year. She has had serious emotional problems related to the issue exacerbated by the stress of upcoming trial. Coop made her first day so much easier to bear, as well as the rest of the affected family. Everyone should have this available to them"
Sarah , 4205  /  signed 2017-09-26 15:55:06 +1000
Claire , 6003  /  signed 2017-09-11 02:12:46 +1000
Daniel , 2070  /  signed 2017-08-06 14:53:25 +1000
Meagan , 3084  /  signed 2017-07-22 17:25:56 +1000
Karin , 3000  /  signed 2017-07-20 22:21:28 +1000
Priscilla , 7322  /  signed 2017-06-15 11:15:09 +1000
Lill , 5350  /  signed 2017-05-25 08:08:04 +1000
"Lill Jeanette Sunde"
Mia , 4213  /  signed 2017-05-18 22:31:17 +1000
"As someone who is looking to train a psychiatric assistance dog, I understand the amazing emotional support animals can bring in situations. I believe that having the support of an unconditionally loving animal would bring much needed help to people suffering cross-examination in the courts of Australia."
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