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

Victoria , 3031  /  signed 2018-07-06 13:36:16 +1000
john , 3620  /  signed 2018-07-06 10:28:42 +1000
Sophie , 2606  /  signed 2018-07-06 09:30:36 +1000
Narelle , 3630  /  signed 2018-07-06 09:25:34 +1000
Vicky , 3550  /  signed 2018-07-06 09:06:08 +1000
"As a survivor of sexual assault and having been through the court system I know the difference the availability of a support dog can make…I want others to have that option"
Andrea , 3631  /  signed 2018-07-06 00:41:28 +1000
"Support for victims is imperative in courts- it is such a stressful time, the dogs will make an enormous difference in the journey towards justice."
Stephanie , 2085  /  signed 2018-06-21 17:36:13 +1000
Anna , 3000  /  signed 2018-06-15 19:58:25 +1000
"Svenson Barristers are a huge supporter of this initiative!"
Emma , 3139  /  signed 2018-06-15 13:39:16 +1000
Joanne , 3095  /  signed 2018-05-22 21:22:29 +1000
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