Victims of domestic abuse will be able to access support from local pharmacies in Leicestershire, as part of the Ask for ANI scheme backed by Andrew Bridgen MP and the Government.
The scheme will allow those at risk or suffering from abuse in the local area to discreetly use a recognised codeword to signal that they need help and access to support.
Pharmacies across Leicestershire and the rest of the UK are classed as essential retailers and remain open, meaning specifically trained staff are available to provide a safe space for victims to sound an alarm if they are isolated at home with their abuser, and unable to get help in another way.
The scheme will be available in local Boots stores, as well as a number of local independent pharmacies which will display a poster in the window, with more detailed information about the Ask for ANI scheme available online. There will also be an on-going sign-up process for all pharmacies in North West Leicestershire that want to take part.
If you are unable to reach your local pharmacy and in need of help go to gov.uk for information on support services and helplines available, or call the 24hr National Domestic Abuse Helpline (0808 2000 247).
The Prime Minister committed to launch this scheme at the Hidden Harms summit last year in recognition of the impact of Covid restrictions on the ability of victims to reach out for help and support. The scheme was initially proposed by survivors as something that would have helped them.
Commenting, Andrew Bridgen MP said:
“Lockdown restrictions are especially difficult for those experiencing domestic abuse, and where home is not the safe place it should be.
“That is why I fully support the government’s backing of the codeword scheme, which will offer a lifeline to all victims in Leicestershire and the rest of the UK.
“Local pharmacies already play an incredibly important role in our local community, and their support is vital in ensuring that domestic abuse victims get the help that they need during this challenging time.”