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Using a Courthouse Dog for Emotional Support

DomesticViolVictim-200x200Appearing before a judge in court, not to mention cases that involve a jury, can be intimidating. For victims who have been sexually assaulted, emotionally tormented, or physically beaten, facing the perpetrator in court can be a truly traumatic event. Luckily, an attorney will help walk you through this process and ensure that you are ready when the time comes to face your violent partner, or will help your child feel secure, brave, and truthful. Additionally, there are new options emerging in North Carolina to help witnesses and victims in court, such as the use of courthouse therapy dogs.

Courthouse Dog, Teghan, to be First Therapy Dog Used in North Carolina Court

While the concept is still catching on in North Carolina, many other states have adopted the use of courthouse dogs as sources of therapy during high-stress cases for people exposed to domestic violence, and other victims. Recently, Johnston County became the first to allow the use of a courthouse dog, according to WRAL News. Teghan, a yellow lab, will help ease the pain, fear, and anxiety that many people feel in Johnston County. Local businesses have paid for veterinary costs, the dog’s training, and other expenses all in an effort to level the playing field for victims in court.

How the Defense Uses Your Anxiety, Fear, and Other Emotions to Your Disadvantage

Being confident, articulate, and calm in court is a vital part of your case’s success, whether you are appearing before a judge or a jury. This is always much easier said than done, as even preparation by your attorney can still leave you with high strung nerves. For Charlotte victims of domestic violence, sometimes no amount of practice can prepare them for facing their abuser in court. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, some of the most common mistakes that witnesses or victims make on the stand include:

  • Not speaking clearly or loudly;
  • Failing to understand the question;
  • Appearing disheveled or uneasy;
  • Losing their temper;
  • Not fully explaining yes or no questions with further detail;
  • Failing to appear positive or confident;
  • Volunteering information; and
  • Not abiding by the courtroom rules.

A courthouse therapy dog may provide the reassurance, comfort, and feeling of security to put many of your anxieties to rest. While a therapy dog may not be available in your case, a compassionate attorney will use other methods and strategies to help you in the courtroom.

Enlist the Help of an Experienced Charlotte, North Carolina Attorney Today

A compassionate domestic violence attorney with experience in such cases will understand the fragile emotional and psychological state that you are coming from. They will provide professional preparation and do everything in their power to put you at ease for your time in court. If you are seeking relief from an abusive relationship, please feel free to contact the Charlotte attorneys of Powers Landreth PLLC today or at your soonest availability.

Resources:

wral.com/johnston-county-hires-dog-to-comfort-courtroom-victims-witnesses/16770705/

justice.gov/usao-mdpa/victim-witness-assistance/tips-testifying-court

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