Boots launches ‘safe spaces’ in store for domestic abuse victims

The initiative is run in partnership with UK crisis charity Hestia, which has reported a 47% increase in victims reaching out for advice since the Covid-19 lockdown began

Boots has responded to the rise in domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown by offering its in-store consultation rooms as safe spaces for victims.

From the store, visitors will be able to contact specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice.

The initiative has been launched in collaboration with UK crisis charity Hestia’s UK Says No More campaign.

“While lockdown and social distancing measures continue, it is restricting victims of domestic abuse reaching out to their friends, family and coworkers for support,” said Hestia’s Head of UK Says No More Lyndsey Dearlove.

“We know there is an increased level of uncertainty for people looking to escape an abusive relationship.

“We recognise that key workers in pharmacies hold a unique position ithin 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 while following government guidelines.

“We hope more pharmacies will follow Boots’ lead and join the Safe Space initiative.”

Since the lockdown was enforced six weeks ago, Hestia has reported a 47% increase in victims reaching out for advice and support on its domestic abuse app Bright Sky.

Boots’ Chief Pharmacist, Marc Donovan, added: “Our pharmacies have long been a place where people can turn 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.

“This is something our pharmacy teams feel very passionately about and would like to thank them for stepping forward to help at a time when they are under tremendous pressure.”

Last month, a fake beauty shop launched online in Poland to help victims of domestic abuse without alerting their perpetrator.

Branded as a natural cosmetics company, customers can reach the helpline via its Facebook page ‘Rumianki i bratki - naturalne kosmetyki SKLEP’ and express interest in fake products.

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