Streaming issues? Report here
Aubrey Masango 2019 BW Aubrey Masango 2019 BW
The Aubrey Masango Show
22:00 - 00:00
volume_up
volume_mute

The Aubrey Masango Show
22:00 - 00:00

Home
arrow_forward
Local

This NGO uses canine therapy to help abused kids brave the courtroom

13 March 2018 1:09 PM
Tags:
Child abuse
Teddy Bear Clinic
Court
NGO
Top Dog
canine therapy
Teddy Bear Clinic works with Top Dog to create a therapy programme, which helps children prepare for taking the stand in court.

Clinical Director of the Teddy Bear Clinic Dr Shaheeda Omar says the courtroom often induces secondary trauma for child abuse victims.

It's for this reason that the nonprofit organisation runs a unique court preparation programme, which helps children navigate the harshness of the criminal justice system.

One of Teddy Bear Clinic's court preparation programmes uses dogs to help abused children give evidence in court.

Omar explains that the courtroom can be a daunting situation and is not developed for child victims, who are still processing emotions and trauma.

She says the programme enables children to become competent and credible witnesses and helps alleviate their fears and anxieties.

The initiative also clarifies the court processes and procedures for children to understand.

The K9 Therapy programme uses trained dogs to provide therapy to help children gain confidence to testify in court.

The Teddy Bear Clinic teamed up with the Top Dog organisation for this special initiative in 2015.

Top Dog's Conor Hughes says dogs can have a calming and therapeutic influence on children.

Dog handlers are given special training to assist with the psychological needs of the children.

Teddy Bear Clinic also advocates for children not to testify in the main courtroom, but under CCTV surveillance.

The child is going to come face to face with the alleged perpetrator, the very person that has inflicted this emotional and psychical trauma on the victim.

Dr. Shaheeda Omar, Director at the The Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children

For a child who has been a victim of violation and sexual violence, it's already confusing. It's brutalising, it's traumatising.

Dr. Shaheeda Omar, Director at the The Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children

The child is emotionally battered and wounded. They're totally confused, felling helpless, powerless and out of control.

Dr. Shaheeda Omar, Director at the The Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children

Courtrooms are not built or developed for children.

Dr. Shaheeda Omar, Director at the The Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children

A child goes into situation where the defence is brought in to discredit their testimony. This often induces secondary trauma and secondary victimisation.

Dr. Shaheeda Omar, Director at the The Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children

K9 Therapy is animal-assisted therapy. It has enhanced social relationships, reduced anxiety and depression and has helped people tell their story.

Dr. Shaheeda Omar, Director at the The Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children

It creates the feeling of being in control, secure and happy.

Dr. Shaheeda Omar, Director at the The Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children

Court preparation is one of the pillars of support that the Teddy Bear Clinic has offered to abused children and their families since 1997.

Dr Omar discusses the problems that hinder the criminal justice system from adequately helping victims of abuse and Conor Hughes details the impact of canine therapy.

Click here to support a fundraising initiative for the Teddy Bear Clinic.

Take a listen to learn more about the inspiring work by Teddy Bear Clinic and Top Dog:


13 March 2018 1:09 PM
Tags:
Child abuse
Teddy Bear Clinic
Court
NGO
Top Dog
canine therapy

Recommended

More from Local

pj-powers-world-in-union-tygerberg-childrens-choirjpg

PJ Powers, Tygerberg Children's Choir record powerful version of World in Union

25 May 2020 3:49 PM

They produced and recorded the beautiful tribute to all Covid-19 essential workers while in isolation during the lockdown.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

john steenhuisen

More court cases are coming, particularly relating to the cigarette ban - DA

25 May 2020 1:34 PM

We must now try and rescue what's left of the economy, says Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

20200425ndzonlevel4jpg

Cigarette ban: Is it because Government cares? Is it ANC factional politics?

25 May 2020 11:40 AM

Is there something more to the cigarette ban, asks political analyst Sanusha Naidoo. Why cigarettes and not alcohol?

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

baker-sound-and-security-facebookjpg

Baker Sound and Security ready and open for business

25 May 2020 11:21 AM

#CapeTalkShoutOut to this multi-fitment centre in Cape Town that is surviving the Covid-19 lockdown, with Ninety One.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

uct-upper-campus-jammie-stairs-jameson-halljpg

What level 3 means for university students - Deputy Minister Higher Education

25 May 2020 10:12 AM

Buti Manamela explains how the allowed 33% of students will return to campus and the plans for the rest to work remotely.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

lockdown-dairy-capetalkpng

The Lockdown Diaries: A daily snapshot of latest stats and facts about Covid-19

25 May 2020 10:00 AM

CapeTalk presents a 1-minute summary of the Covid-19 state of play every day after 9.30 am on Today with Kieno Kammies.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

200422-cigarettes-edjpg

Health Dep DG: Smoking is affecting smokers, it's not affecting anybody else

25 May 2020 7:24 AM

National Health Director-General Dr Anban Pillay explains Lockdown level 3 which will be implemented from 1 June.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Lockdown levels South Africa Covid-19 coronavirus 123rf

[GRAPHICS] Lockdown level 3 at a glance

24 May 2020 9:28 PM

The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa released these key points outlining the level 3 lockdown for the country from 1 June.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

president-cyril-ramaphosa-24-maypng

Level 3 from 1 June: Exercise hours relaxed, alcohol ban lifted, but no ciggies

24 May 2020 8:17 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in an address to the nation that SA will move down to Level 3 lockdown from 1 June.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Man at check-in counter at airport with passport travel 123rflifestyle 123rf

'Essential travel' approved for South Africans who need to return abroad

24 May 2020 5:01 PM

The Dept of Home Affairs has announced the categories which meet criteria for permission to leave the country.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward