New Scheme at Boots Pharmacies to Offer Domestic Abuse Victims a Safe Space
Friday 1 May, 2020
West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is supporting the launch of a new scheme at Boots Pharmacies across the country where domestic abuse victims can seek refuge.
Today (Friday 1 May), victims of domestic abuse will be able to access safe spaces at Boots pharmacies consultation rooms where they can contact specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice.
This initiative has been launched by charity Hestia’s ‘UK Says No More’ campaign, the scheme is in response to the situation facing many potential victims who are isolating with perpetrators during Covid19 lockdown.
Mark Burns-Williamson, PCC, said that he was especially concerned that victims of domestic and sexual abuse needed to know they could access support during isolation as the lockdown around COVID-19 continues.
He added: “As PCC, I am responsible for commissioning local support services for victims of crime, alongside my local government partners who I also provide funding to. This includes services for women, children and men experiencing domestic and sexual abuse.
“I want those individuals who need help and support to know they have not been forgotten, and we are here for you. There are support services that can help them and I want them to know how they can access this support and that we can help during these really testing times, whether or not someone feels able to report to the Police.
“This new scheme allowing Boots pharmacies to be safe havens for victims of domestic abuse is a possible lifeline to those who are suffering what can be a devastating impact. We are working with police and partner organisations, as well as the Government, to make sure they are looked after and they continue to get the help and support they need. Pharmacy staff are key workers and along with other healthcare professionals are under real pressure during these unprecedented times we face during the lockdown, but by opening their doors to those who need it the most and providing such help and support will be invaluable and wholeheartedly support this initiative.
“We know that, whilst the necessary guidelines on social distancing and self-isolation will be difficult for a lot of people, for those who are living with abusive partners or situations they can represent a real and present danger, magnified by feelings of nowhere to flee to and general helplessness.
“To find out more about victims’ services in West Yorkshire, including to victims who do not want to report to the police, visit our website www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk or contact the office via email [email protected].”
People who feel they need help can access the Victim Support service without reporting to the police via telephone or more discreet methods such as email and online web chat (insert web link)
Victim Support provide a service that is local, independent and they are aware of the different options available to victims in West Yorkshire. If you’ve been affected by crime,including domestic or sexual abuse, call your local victim care team in West Yorkshire on 0300 303 1971.
Lines are open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm Saturday. If you need support outside of their open hours, call the Victim Support Supportline for free on 08 08 16 89 111 or request support via their website https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/help-and-support/get-help/request-support.
For more information about Hestia, please visit https://www.hestia.org