Morrisons opens safe spaces for domestic abuse victims

Morrisons has become the first supermarket to offer a safe space where victims of domestic abuse can contact support services.

Wednesday, 27th May 2020, 2:20 pm

The company is joining forces with Hestia’s UK SAYS NO MORE campaign due to the fact that a trip to a supermarket is so routine it is unlikely to alert an abuser.

Consulting rooms in pharmacies in 117 Morrisons stores will be designated safe spaces where Morrisons pharmacists – who have been specially trained – can direct those seeking help to the support they need.

Information about the safe spaces and where to get help will also be shared on posters and till receipts in all Morrisons stores in the UK, including the one in Chesterfield.

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Safe spaces are being provided at more than 100 Morrisons stores nationwide. Photo: Sam Beecham

The move comes as the National Domestic Violence Helpline has reported a 25 per cent increase in calls and online requests for help since the lockdown began.

Lyndsey Dearlove, head of UK SAYS NO MORE at Hestia said: “By offering access to help through their supermarkets Morrisons is offering a lifeline to many victims of domestic abuse.

“Supermarket trips are part of a routine that, even during lockdown, provides a vital opportunity to seek help without raising the suspicions of an abusive partner or household member.

“The expansion of safe spaces into supermarkets could save lives.”

Lisa Leighton, head of people at Morrisons, added: “We want to help our customers and colleagues during this very difficult time.

“We provide an environment for our colleagues where those experiencing domestic abuse feel encouraged and empowered to disclose this, and feel confident that we’ll help them get the right specialist support.

“We wanted to extend this to seek help to our customers.

“Come to our pharmacies and let our colleagues know if you need help.”

Hestia also provides a free mobile app, Bright Sky, which has seen a 47 per cent increase in downloads since the lockdown began.

The app provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

Victims can also call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000247.