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From today, victims of domestic abuse will be able to access safe spaces at a further 750 locations across the country in Well Pharmacy consultation rooms, where they can contact specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having terrible implications on the level of domestic abuse seen today. Though people are advised to stay home in order to save lives, the daunting reality for many victims of domestic abuse is that home is not safe.

Figures from the charity Hestia showed a near 40% increase in people trying to access specialist support during the first lockdown, with three thousand victims seeking help between April and September this year. Domestic abuse includes psychological, physical and financial abuse, all of which can have devastating consequences for the victim.

‘I am immensely proud of the work our teams do day in and day out supporting vulnerable people in their communities,’ says Janice Perkins, Pharmacy Superintendent, ‘providing person-centred care and keeping our patients safe and well. That is why I know they will continue to do everything possible to safeguard and support people seeking a safe space. I am pleased to share that we have worked with Hestia’s UK SAYS NO MORE’s scheme to roll out Safe Spaces across all our 750 pharmacies up and down the UK.’

‘Businesses have a unique role to play in breaking the silence around domestic abuse and ensuring victims can access the help and support they need,’ adds Lyndsey Dearlove, Head of Domestic Abuse Prevention at Hestia. ‘Lockdown restrictions due to Covid-19 have provided an opportunity for businesses to step up their response to domestic abuse for their staff and customers.

‘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 Well’s pharmacies, we hope many will be able to safely access support whilst following Government guidelines.”

While in the consultation room, people will have access to:

  • 24-hour National domestic abuse helpline: 0808 2000 247
  • Men’s advice line: 0808 801 032
  • Scotland – Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage Helpline (freephone 24/7): 0800 027 1234
  • Wales – Live Fear Free Helpline (freephone 24/7): 0808 801 0800
  • Northern Ireland – Domestic & Sexual Abuse: 0808 802 1414
  • Signposting to download the 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
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