A new way to help domestic abuse victims has been introduced today at thousands of pharmacies nationwide.
The UK Government have teamed up with 255 independent pharmacies and 2,300 Boots stores to launch the 'Ask for ANI' codeword scheme.
Anyone will be able to signal they need help and access to support discreetly without their abusers or the public knowing if they “Ask for ANI”
As soon as the individual asks for ANI at a participating pharmacy, they will be led to a private consulting room where they will be put in touch with the police, relevant support services or helplines.
The scheme has been launched after more than 250,000 domestic abuse offences were recorded in England and Wales between March and June 2020 – with one in five offences reported during or straight after the first national lockdown being related to domestic abuse.
Please be aware that self-isolation and stay at home COVID-19 instructions do not apply if you need to leave home to escape violence or a domestic abuse situation.
If you are in immediate danger, always call 999 right away.
If you can’t talk on the phone, use the ‘Silent Solutions’ system. This is where after calling 999, dial 55 to be put through to your local police station. The call handler will ask you some simple yes or no questions. If you’re unable to speak, listen as carefully as you can so they can provide help to send someone to you.
Other support services available:
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247 (freephone, open 24 hours) – www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk
- The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327 (free from landlines and mobiles within the UK) – www.mensadviceline.org.uk
- The Mix, free information and support for under 25s – 0808 808 4994 (freephone, 4pm-11pm) – www.themix.org.uk
- National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428 – Ran by Galop www.galop.org.uk
- Samaritans – 116 123 (freephone, 24/7 service) – www.samaritans.org