From this week, victims of domestic abuse can now access a Safe Space in any branch of The Co-operative Bank and across 48 branches* of Metro Bank.

Launched by the domestic abuse charity Hestia and its UK SAYS NO MORE campaign, the Safe Spaces initiative aims to increase the availability of specialist support for those experiencing domestic abuse. It provides a space for local people to phone a helpline, contact a support service or talk to a friend or family member.

Specialist training on Safe Spaces and domestic abuse awareness has been carried out by employees across all of The Co-operative Bank and Metro Bank branches.

Commenting on the adoption of Safe Spaces at The Co-operative Bank branches across the UK, Darrell Evans, Chief Commercial Officer at The Co-operative Bank, said: “We’re proud to play a significant role in breaking the silence around domestic abuse. By providing a Safe Space in each of our branches, located at the heart of local communities, The Co-operative Bank will help Hestia reach victims of domestic abuse, ensuring they get the specialist help and advice they need.”

“The topic of domestic abuse has been high on our agenda over the last two years as we have worked to increase awareness through events and initiatives,” explains Judith Lowe, Chair of Metro Bank’s Women on Work inclusion network. “As a community bank, our store teams already have well-established connections with local domestic abuse charities. As our stores are open seven days a week, evenings and 362 days a year, we can offer extended access on the high street for those needing a safe space and we didn’t hesitate to join the UK Says No More campaign.” 

Patrick Ryan, Chief Executive of Hestia, said: “Too many people across the country are living in fear of domestic abuse. All too often, they are closely monitored and controlled, so reaching out for help can feel like a terrifying risk. Our Safe Spaces scheme provides a safe route to access specialist help and advice, or to call a loved one.

“It’s great to welcome The Co-operative Bank and Metro Bank on board as Safe Spaces partners. Together, we can ensure that more victims are able to access life-saving support safely. We now provide over 7,000 Safe Spaces on high streets across the UK, and we hope to grow that number as more companies come on board and support this scheme.”

Find your nearest Safe Space

*Metro Bank has a network of 76 stores nationally. Choosing the stores to participate in the physical Safe Space initiative required careful consideration to ensure victims would be protected. With Metro Bank’s open and transparent approach to high-street banking, some stores are fully exposed to public view, with large glass forefronts. Although all stores support the campaign, certain Metro Bank stores would not have been able to offer a truly safe and confidential space for victims.