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Child Witnesses

Courthouse Facility Dog

Every year, thousands of children face the daunting task of recounting abuse in a courtroom. It's a terrifying ordeal, and their testimony is critical to securing convictions to keep them and other children safe.

What is a Courthouse Facility Dog?

Courthouse Facility Dogs support a broad range of people, especially young children, in the courtroom. With their comforting presence and expert training, these dogs significantly reduce the stress of being in court for survivors of trauma being asked to tell their story…and often face their abuser.


Helping Children Find Their Voice in Court

Courthouse Facility Dogs make a major impact helping children through legal processes. Children, especially those who have experienced trauma, find the courtroom intensely overwhelming. At the child’s request, the Courthouse Facility Dog can be with them during forensic interviews, court preparation and even on the witness stand when they must recount sensitive, distressing incidents.




Their calming presence helps relax children, enabling them to share their experiences more freely. Sometimes, a child can recall crucial details they previously couldn't because they feel safer with the dog by their side.


 

 

Making Communities Safer

Courthouse Facility Dogs’ impact on the legal process is profound. District Attorneys report a higher rate of outcry where the child actually says that something happened. By helping children articulate their experiences more effectively, prosecutors can add more charges to an indictment. And their presence with children during courtroom testimony has been documented to lead to a higher rate of conviction of offenders.


Most importantly, the comfort and confidence that Courthouse Facility Dogs instill transforms a child feeling re-traumatized by the legal process to feeling heard, validated, and stronger on their path to healing.

Sumi

Helping Children Find Their Voice in Court

2019

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