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.

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4,239 SIGNATURES

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Latest activity

Amanda , 4030  /  signed 2017-11-29 14:04:18 +1100
Kristy , 2155  /  signed 2017-11-29 12:40:04 +1100
Carol , 3672  /  signed 2017-11-28 11:23:50 +1100
"I think trauma dogs are amazing animals who can give gentle comfort to children and adults in need of contact which in these circumstances is not possible by a human. A very special service much needed in our society of many sad situations of today."
Natasha , 6112  /  signed 2017-11-27 14:10:39 +1100
"Natasha Lawrence"
Julie , 3912  /  signed 2017-11-24 16:28:49 +1100
"I am the Project Manager for Coop’s work at the OPP in Melbourne. Coop works in the remote witness room (when permission is granted). We are finding witnesses are getting through their evidence more quickly because they are more relaxed and grounded and are also staying engaged in the matter. The sense of joy Coop has brought to witnesses (and staff) is beyond measure."
David , 4104  /  signed 2017-11-24 10:49:58 +1100
john , 3618  /  signed 2017-11-17 21:52:16 +1100
Marg , 3071  /  signed 2017-11-16 15:24:06 +1100
"Because it helps survivors get through another traumatic experience"
Debra , 4170  /  signed 2017-11-15 20:32:17 +1100
"This is a fantastic idea. The comfort dogs will really help calm people with their pure love."
Lauren , 3564  /  signed 2017-11-15 18:39:56 +1100
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