DA's therapy dog unit brings comfort to child abuse victims
- Steve is the first prosecutor in the State of Oklahoma to use a therapy dog to assist and ease the stress of child abuse victims while they testify in court.
- When children have suffered physical or emotional trauma, it is often difficult for them to speak of their experiences. Incorporating therapy dogs into courtroom settings for children who have been abused or neglected or have witnessed violence can help a child open up and promote the healing process.
- When a child witness is accompanied to court by a dog that he or she has bonded with in pretrial preparations, the effects are immediate and profound. The trust, acceptance, and tactile comfort of a friendly dog changes the physiology of the nervous child. Human heart rate decreases and blood pressure falls in the presence of therapy dogs. The child may simply feel safer to recall past events, even with an audience of strange adults in the courtroom.
- Therapy Dog program highlighted in the news: