Boots pharmacies are providing safe spaces for domestic abuse victims

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  • The beauty chain is taking action, following the rise in calls from women during the lockdown period

    With the coronavirus lockdown still in place, domestic abuse victims continue to feel trapped and isolated from the outside world.

    Since the quarantining measures were enforced by the government, anti-domestic abuse charity Refuge reported a shocking 50 percent increase in calls and contacts to its helpline, while online requests for help have surged by a huge 400 percent since the UK was placed into lockdown more than seven weeks ago.

    Positively,  health and beauty retailer and pharmacy chain Boots has decided to take action and help, and is offering safe spaces in its consultation rooms across the country for domestic violence survivors 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 are forced to isolate at home with perpetrators.

    Lyndsey Dearlove, head of UK Says No More at charity Hestia, says, ‘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.

    ‘By creating this safe space in Boots pharmacies, we hope many will be able to safely access support whilst following Government guidelines.’

    domestic abuse victims

    Boots is providing help for domestic abuse victims (Getty Images)

    Posters and small shelf cards telling people a safe space for domestic abuse support is available will be placed around the 2,400 UK stores. Anyone will be able to ask a pharmacist if they can use a consultation room, with no questions asked, and once inside, they will find the 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline and phone numbers for services specific to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Boots staff will also be given information on how to recognise potential victims. We highly commend this initiative.

    If you or someone you know needs support, Refuge’s 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline can be reached on 0808 2000 247

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