Domestic Violence: Boots to Offer Safe Places
People experiencing domestic abuse, who are at particular risk during the Covid19 pandemic, will now be able to access safe spaces at Boots pharmacies consultation rooms.
The scheme, part of the charity Hestia's 'UK Says No More' campaign, is in response to the desperate situation facing many people who are isolating with their abusers during the Covid19 lockdown.
Hestia helps adults and children in crisis by delivering services across London and the surrounding regions as well as campaigning and advocating nationally on the issues that affect the people it works with. The charity has already seen a 47 percent increase in people reaching out for information and support on its free domestic abuse app, Bright Sky.
What support will be available in Boots pharmacy consultation rooms?
In the Boots pharmacy consultation room, people will have access to:
24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
Scotland: Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline (Freephone 24/7): 0800 027 1234
Wales: Live Fear Free Helpline (Freephone 24/7): 0808 801 0800
Northern Ireland: Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline: 0808 802 1414
Signposting to download free mobile app Bright Sky, which provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.
Sara, who experienced domestic abuse and lived in a Hestia refuge, said: “Women or men who are now 'forced' to be indoors with the abusive partner or family member really need a 'safe haven' where they can retreat to collect their thoughts and get support. Sometimes getting out of that bubble of abuse, that you are in at home, helps you to realise that help is out there. It also gives you a little bit of hope and confidence to take a step towards helping yourself.
"An abuser wouldn't really think that their victim could access help at the local pharmacy or be able to have a moment in a place like that. So being able to contact a domestic violence helpline in this way will be life changing for many."
We hope more pharmacies will follow Boots UK's lead ... Although we are in a period of lockdown and isolation, our message to victims is domestic abuse services are open and we can help you."
Lyndsey Dearlove, Hestia
Marc Donovan, Chief Pharmacist at Boots, said:
“Our pharmacies have long been a place where people can turn to for help and advice on their local high street. At times like these, our 2,400 stores in communities across the UK take on increased importance, as a place of safety for those who need one.
"We hope that making our consultation rooms safe spaces, we can help people find the support they need at this difficult time, when many other options are temporarily unavailable. This is something our pharmacy teams feel very passionately about and (I) would like to thank them for stepping forward to help at a time when they are under tremendous pressure.”
Lyndsey Dearlove, Head of UK Says No More at Hestia, said:
“Whilst lockdown and social distancing measures continue, it is restricting victims of domestic abuse reaching out to their friends, family and co-workers for support. We know there is an increased level of uncertainty for people looking to escape an abusive relationship. Self-isolation offers a new method of control over victims making it very difficult for them to seek support.
"We recognise that key workers in pharmacies hold a unique position within the community as a single point of contact for victims. By creating this safe space in Boots pharmacies, we hope many will be able to safely access support whilst following Government guidelines. We hope more pharmacies will follow Boots UK's lead and join the Safe Space initiative. Although we are in a period of lockdown and isolation, our message to victims is domestic abuse services are open and we can help you.”
Need financial help?
Turn2us resources can help you find out what might be available to you through benefits and grants.
You can use our Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to benefits.
The Your Situation information section includes the following guides that you might find helpful, depending on your situation:
Although there aren't many that specifically help people experiencing domestic/sexual abuse, many charities listed on our Grants Search can provide support, if you meet their qualifying rules.
This might be a charitable fund:
- Attached to an occupation or industry you work in or used to work in
- That helps individuals and families on low incomes who are living in difficult situations
- That supports people who have a particular faith or nationality
- A local fund that helps people in need who live in a particular area.
Many funds also help the dependents of people their fund supports – e.g. their partners, ex-partners or dependent children.
Find an Adviser
If you need advice on your particular situation, our Find an Adviser tool can help you find local experts, including Citizens Advice offices in your area and local services that help people who have experienced rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence, forced marriage or female genital mutilation (FGM).