So far there is onlya handful of trained dogs to this mission. That of freeing the voice of the victims and in particular of the youngest. This Wednesday, for the first time in Limousin, a dog took part, alongside a police investigator, in the hearing of two young sisters aged 7 and 11 who were victims of domestic violence.
The presence of the animal soothes and releases the hormone of happiness
The practice is already old in Anglo-Saxon countries. But it started in France a very short time ago, in Cahors. The idea is to make children feel comfortable and confident explains Nelly Hopp, who specializes in dog training with her company Les Liens d’Armor based in Meilhards: “It’s a bit as if the dog were a living cuddly toy. The child will be reassured to have the animal next to him. It is scientifically recognized that the presence of the animal soothes, it reduces the rhythm and releases the heart’s happiness hormone, oxytocin.”
Samba is a 18 month old golden retriever and trained from an early age at the school of the municipality of Meilhards and with disabled people.
A great help for finally talk about the victims hopes the investigator of the police station of Tulle Karine Baril: “When we bring the minor in for the first time, he is relatively stressed, he does not know me. Despite a period of gaining confidence, it is not easy to speak like that. Children are sometimes completely blocked and despite various attempts, the child is unable to express himself on what he may have experienced or seen.
The operation seems to be working since this Wednesday at the hospital in Tulle, one of the two children played a lot with the dog and began to confide in the police, specifies the police.
Interventions with several audiences and in different places
After this very first hearing, Samba is already expected for other children’s testimonies but also adults says Agnès Maatoug, project manager at the Tulle prosecutor’s office, “in the context of the medico-judicial consultation for example, where there are stressful acts, in particular for sexual assault. But also in court, in the office of the examining magistrate or in the correctional courtroom or in Assizes . “
Samba will intervene essentially on requisition of the parquet floor of Tulle within the framework of police or gendarmerie investigations. Another dog is being trained in Corrèze this time on the initiative of the association for the assistance of victims, ARAVIC.