Sometimes the best support someone can receive after a traumatic experience comes with four legs. Mark and Walker are a pair of colleagues dedicated to sexual assault and crime victim advocacy. Walker is a certified courthouse facility dog and Mark is his handler and caregiver. Mark works at Lutheran Community Services Northwest in SeaTac, Washington, as a sexual assault and crime victim advocate.
In a recent interview with LCS Northwest’s Louise McGrody, Mark details how he and Walker spend their time with survivors of sexual assault, providing priceless comfort while survivors report their stories to law enforcement and attorneys. Walker’s furry cuddles help soothe people and give them courage to retell traumatic events. Mark provides an example of Walker’s work where in one interview, a young woman was able to calm down while with Walker to give enough information to identify another offender. Mark and Walker also provide support to the staff in the offices at Lutheran Community Services, whether it’s a tough day or stressful meeting.
Lutheran Community Services Northwest is a member of Lutheran Services in America, a network of 300 health and human service organizations located in more than 1,400 communities across the United States. Together, the network makes a difference in the lives of one in 50 Americans every year.
By Sophia Behrens, Intern