The partnership, led by Hestia’s UK Says No More campaign, brings together Scottish Women’s Aid and Cardiff Women’s Aid to expand Safe Spaces for people experiencing domestic abuse.

Over 6,000 Safe Spaces are now available on the high street nationwide providing space for local people to phone a helpline, contact a support service or talk to a friend or family member. 

The Safe Spaces are confidential, inclusive and accessible and provide routes to safety for victims of abuse and violence. Following the increase in public awareness of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, the scheme is working with pharmacies and banks to make preventing domestic abuse everyone’s business. 

Experts in the three nations are working to expand the scheme, raise awareness of Safe Spaces and develop a framework of quality assurance and monitoring to ensure that the scheme is fit to support all victims of domestic abuse.  

Sue Harper, Head of Domestic Abuse Prevention at Hestia said:  

“Our UK SAYS NO MORE campaign is proud to unite our nations to drive partnership opportunities with local businesses and communities to ensure those experiencing domestic abuse can access specialist support.” 

Alice Rowe, Safe Spaces Engagement Officer at Scottish Women’s Aid said: 

“We have seen that the Safe Spaces Scheme has had the reach and capacity to help survivors of domestic abuse across Scotland access support quickly and safely, during the pandemic and beyond. We are excited to be partnering with the scheme and to work with partners, our Women’s Aid network and the many supportive allies we have across Scotland to reach more people experiencing domestic abuse. Together we can work to signpost survivors to safe, expert advice and support from our local Women’s Aid services and Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline.” 

Cicelie Vobe, Safe Spaces Project Coordinator at Cardiff Women’s Aid said: 

“Tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence is a shared responsibility. We are excited to be partnering with the Safe Spaces Scheme to create more avenues of support for survivors in Wales to the fantastic local organisations working to eradicate violence and abuse and the Live Fear Free Helpline, run by Welsh Women’s Aid. We are looking forward to developing the scheme in a Welsh context and to working closely with our partners across the nations.” 

To access a Safe Space, ask a member of staff and they will direct you. They will not ask you for your name or any contact details, it is an anonymous and confidential scheme. In a Safe Space, you will find contact details for England’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline (0808 2000 247), Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline (0800 027 1234), Wales’ Live Fear Free Helpline (0808 80 10 800), Men’s Advice Line (0808 80 10 327) and information for Hestia’s free smartphone app, Bright Sky which provides contact details to local support services.  

Through the generous support of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery the partnership will enable more Safe Spaces in communities across Scotland and Wales to provide a safe and discreet way to reach out to friends and family and support.