A review of the scientific literature indicates that the presence of a friendly dog has a positive impact on ones emotional and physical well-being. Aspen will assist victims of sexual assault by: providing stimulation for conversation, improve the victims physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive function and elevate the mood of both client, staff and the facility in general. Additionally, Aspen will educate children on anti-violence through our unique prevention program "Paws Off"
Fair Haven Center for Women is Lake County, Indiana's Rape Crisis Center. We provide crisis intervention services and ongoing supportive counseling to victims of sexual assault. Victims of sexual assault are: 3 times more likely to suffer from depression,6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder,13 times more likely to abuse alcohol,26 times more likely to abuse drugs and 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.
After experiencing a traumatic event, PTSD can become a burden and affecting many with: panic attacks, sudden mood swings, difficulty in social settings, and an overall inability to return to life as it was before the assault occurred. In recent years, animal assisted therapy has been shown to provide life-altering advantages to those who struggle with PTSD symptoms. Research supporting Therapy Dogs assisting those with PTSD is relatively new, many find the experience miraculous!
Therapy dogs are trained to calm someone having an anxiety or panic attack. Aspen is being trained to gently comfort and soothe our clients by "hugging" or nestling up to the person by leaning against their leg or lying at their feet. She loves unconditionally! When she sees our clients walk through the door, she is immediately happy to see them. Her tail wags and she "smiles" as they approach her. Having her on the greeting committee impacts the victims overall counseling experience.