Superdrug join Safe Spaces scheme for victims of domestic abuse - almost a quarter of all UK pharmacies now taking part

~ Superdrug and 60+ independent Pharmacies now join scheme~

Thursday 7 May 2020:

From today, victims of domestic abuse will be able to access safe spaces in 200 Superdrug pharmacies and 60+ independent pharmacies across the UK, enabling them to contact specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice. Launched by charity Hestia’s UK SAYS NO MORE campaign, the scheme has expanded to over 2,800 pharmacies since being announced last week in response to the desperate situation facing many victims who are isolating with perpetrators during lockdown. 

The charity say they have been delighted by the response from the pharmacy and business community, with many signing up to provide Safe Spaces in their own consultation rooms and support the national response to domestic abuse. Hestia says it has already seen a 47 percent increase in victims reaching out for information and support on its free domestic abuse app, Bright Sky. While 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse, the charity is concerned that the figures will be much higher during lockdown, and is preparing for an increased demand for refuge spaces once the restrictions start to ease.

Lyndsey Dearlove, Head of UK SAYS NO MORE at Hestia said:

“Already during lockdown helplines have seen a huge surge in calls from those experiencing domestic abuse in isolation. Many victims tell us that they are fearful and anxious. Although we are in a period of isolation, our message is simple: domestic abuse services are open, and we can help you.

Since our launch last week we have already seen the scheme being used by victims to seek support. With Superdrug and additional businesses and pharmacies opening Safe Spaces to customers, so many more victims will get the help they need in a safe and discrete way. Our hope is that this scheme will be adopted by every pharmacy in the country so that many more people can access lifesaving support.”

Superdrug Pharmacy Superintendent, Lucy Morton-Channon explains:

“We are pleased to share that we have worked with Hestia’s UK SAYS NO MORE's scheme to roll out Safe Spaces across all our 200 pharmacies. Our dedicated pharmacy teams are in a prime position to help people during this incredibly difficult time for them. On accessing a safe space, people are provided with information on how to gain the support that they need.

Anna arrived at Hestia’s refuge three weeks ago, after escaping an abusive relationship during lockdown.

My partner had been abusive before the pandemic but it was when lockdown started and we were stuck in the house together that the abuse became so much worse. On the day that lockdown was announced I remember I was eating a hot bowls of noodles and he just grabbed them and poured them over me, burning my skin.

I wanted to leave but I was really worried that there was no-where to go. I packed the only bag I could find and went and stayed in a hotel. Eventually someone gave me the number for the national domestic abuse hotline. When I heard about the Safe Spaces scheme I thought it was brilliant and it would have really helped me.”

Whilst in the consultancy room, people will have access to:

•             24-hour National domestic abuse helpline: 0808 2000 247

•             Men’s advice line: 0808 801 032

•             Scotland - Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage Helpline (freephone 24/7): 0800 027 123

•             Wales - Live Fear Free Helpline (freephone 24/7): 0808 801 0800

•             Northern Ireland - Domestic & Sexual Abuse: 0808 802 1414

•             Signposting to download free mobile app Bright Sky, which provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

  • Posters informing people that there’s a safe space for support will be available at all 200 Superdrug Pharmacies, and Superdrug pharmacy staff will be given information on how to recognise potential victims.
  • Victims will not be required use a code word to gain access to the consultation room.
  • Total number of consultation rooms available: Boots (2,400), Superdrug (200), 60 independent pharmacies (159)

For press and media related queries[email protected]

About Hestia

For 50 years, Hestia has provided support and hope every step of the way of recovery. Today, millions of people are experiencing domestic abuse, modern slavery and challenges with their mental health. Hestia believes no-one should suffer alone. Together, we can make sure people find a life beyond crisis.

At Hestia we support adults and children in times of crisis. We deliver services across London and the surrounding regions, as well as campaign and advocate nationally on the issues that affect the people we work with. Last year we supported 10,766 men, women and children. This includes victims of modern slavery, women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, young care leavers and older people. From giving someone a home, to helping them to get the right mental health support, we support people at the moment of crisis and enable them to build a life beyond a crisis. We are supported by nearly 600 volunteers across London who provide specialist skills such as art therapy, yoga, IT, gardening and cooking, as well as befriending and fundraising.

About UK Says NO MORE:

UK SAYS NO MORE is the UK’s national awareness and prevention campaign for domestic abuse and sexual violence. Launched in 2016, UK SAYS NO MORE unites and strengthens a diverse community of 350+ partners under one powerful symbol, providing open-source tools, information and resources for individuals and organisations to get involved. 160 Parliamentarians signed our Charter on Prevention in 2018, ensuring inclusivity for all victims in the domestic abuse bill. Together, we are creating partnership-based solutions to change the societal narrative towards domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Website: uksaysnomore.org/safespaces

Follow @UKSAYSNOMORE for updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.