How to access Safe Spaces in pharmacies and banks in 4 steps

Safe Spaces are open in UK pharmacies and banks for anyone experiencing domestic abuse

Anyone can be affected by domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, race, or identity. Domestic abuse isn’t always physical violence either. It can take many forms, including emotional abuse, sexual abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour.

Support is available for anyone experiencing domestic abuse. However, we know that it isn’t always easy to find an opportunity when at home to call a helpline or speak to your loved ones about what’s going on.

Hestia and UK SAYS NO MORE operate around 6,000 Safe Spaces in pharmacies and banks across the UK, where you can go to call a support service or helpline, to phone a friend, or just to collect your thoughts.

How do I access a domestic abuse safe space?

  1. Find your nearest safe space

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse and need somewhere to go to call a helpline or support service, the first step is to find the nearest Safe Spaces to you.

Safe Spaces operate in all Boots, Morrisons, Superdrug and Well pharmacies, as well as in hundreds of independent pharmacies across the country. Safe Spaces are also open in all TSB bank branches, and in HSBC branches in Southampton.

Find your nearest safe space here

  1. Ask at the counter to use the safe space

When you arrive at your selected pharmacy or bank branch, ask at the counter to use the safe space. Staff working at participating pharmacies and banks have been trained on the Safe Spaces scheme and so will know what you mean. You do not have to answer any questions about your situation.

The staff will then show you to a private room in the pharmacy or bank.

If you require an immediate police response, head to the counter and ‘Ask For ANI’. The staff will assist you in calling the police if you wish to.

  1. Once inside the safe space

You will be given privacy while at a safe space to think or call a helpline, support service or friend.

Posters will be displayed inside the safe space, highlighting the numbers to call for national domestic abuse helplines. Information on the Bright Sky app will also be displayed, which can be downloaded to help you find the nearest domestic abuse support services to you. Please only download the Bright Sky app if it safe to do so.

There is no time limit on using a safe space. You can take as long as you need to make calls or gather your thoughts.

  1. After you’ve used a safe space

Once you have finished with the safe space, you are simply free to leave the pharmacy or bank. You can return to use the safe space whenever you need to – there is no limit on how many times you can use a safe space.

Remember, domestic abuse is never your fault and you are not alone. Support is available.

You can contact the 24/7 National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

If you are in immediate danger, always phone the police on 999.

You can also access domestic abuse support and information online using Online Safe Spaces. Click on the Safe Spaces logo on websites including Thames Water, Royal Mail, Post Office and Network Rail to access the online safe space, which won’t show up in your browsing history.

Safe Spaces is funded by players of the People's Postcode Lottery.

Find out more about Safe Spaces now