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Support dogs to comfort victims at Quebec’s specialized courts

The animals' presence will provide comfort to victims and help them feel more confident and safe as they navigate the legal process. Getty Images

Some Quebec domestic assault and sexual violence victims will be able to be accompanied by a support dog during court appearances.

Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette says a pilot project is being launched in collaboration with a guide dog training foundation and the province’s crime victims assistance group.

Support dogs will be offered in the province’s specialized courts that were recently created to handle cases of sexual violence and domestic assault.

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Jolin-Barrette says the animals’ presence will provide comfort to victims and help them feel more confident and safe as they navigate the legal process.

The courts are located in Quebec City, Beauharnois and Bedford, in the Montérégie region; Drummond, in the Centre-du-Québec region; and St-Maurice, in the Mauricie area.

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The Quebec legislature adopted a bill last year to create the specialized tribunals, which are designed to offer a supportive environment to victims who come forward to denounce their alleged abusers.

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