We are working with Boots & the UK Says No More campaign to support victims of domestic abuse
Home isn’t always a safe place but your local Boots pharmacy can be.
Our officers are working together with high street pharmacy Boots and the UK Says No More campaign to support victims of domestic abuse during lockdown.
Safe spaces have been installed in Boots consultation rooms across the country to allow people to access vital support.
The scheme has been launched by the UK Says No More campaign in response to increased challenges faced by victims who may be feeling trapped at home with perpetrators.
To access support, those in need can ask for help at the counter and will be referred to use a safe consultation room, where they will have access to 24-hour national domestic abuse helplines and can also contact police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
Safe Spaces are operating in all Boots pharmacies across the UK where there is a consultation room, including in the Northumbria Police Force area.
Northumbria Police’s Detective Chief Inspector Claire Wheatley, of the Safeguarding Department, has praised the initiative.
She said: “We know that home is not a safe place for those experiencing domestic abuse and that’s why this initiative could prove so vital to many, especially those who have already seen their support networks cut off due to the restrictions in place around Coronavirus.
“We are proud to offer our support to the UK Says No More campaign initiative.
“If your home is not a safe environment then we urge you to seek support where you can and please do take advantage of this initiative.
“Please contact police and we will do everything we can do to support you which can include finding safe accommodation for you and your children or removing abusers from homes.”
Det Chief Insp Wheatley also has a very clear message for abusers.
“I want to be clear – abuse is a choice made by the abuser,” she said. “To those perpetrating abuse – we will take action against you and can and will remove you from your home to stop you committing further harm.
“I would urge anyone who is worried that their behaviour may be abusive to seek advice from the charity Respect which has a website and helpline.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: "To someone who feels trapped 24/7 in lockdown with their abuser, a safe breathing space offering support such as this could make all the difference.
"It's crucial we find new ways of supporting victims during this difficult time and I'm working closely with local support groups across Northumbria to ensure help is there for those in need.
"The bottom line is - services and support are still available. I don't want anyone to feel alone, you're not."
A spokesperson for UK Says No More added: “All pharmacy staff have been briefed on the Safe Spaces scheme on how to support those individuals.
“A person who is experiencing domestic abuse does not need to disclose any information to the staff member to use the consultation room, they can simply ask to use the room, no questions asked.”
Learn more about the Safe Spaces scheme at UKSAYSNOMORE.ORG/SAFESPACES or by searching @UKSAYSNOMORE on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
For more information about domestic abuse advice search Northumbria Police online. All our webpages have a 'hide page' function and there is guidance on deleting your internet history. If you have concerns about using your own devices, contact a close friend or family member to use their device or use the internet access at a local library.
To find your nearest store visit: https://www.boots.com/StoreLookupView?catalogId=28501&storeId=11352&langId=-1