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Domestic abuse victims will be able to “Ask for Ani” in pharmacies, as part of a code word scheme backed by the Government and Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins.

By asking for “Ani”, which stands for Action Needed Immediately, anyone suffering from domestic abuse will be taken into a private room and offered support, where they can be put in touch with police, support services and helplines.

Thousands of pharmacies across the country, including Boots, Superdrug, Morrisons and Well Pharmacies are taking part in the initiative, which is being offered in addition to an existing scheme, launched in May by charity Hestia, which saw safe spaces installed in a variety of businesses consultation rooms for survivors to contact support services.

During the first 7 weeks of lockdown in the UK, the police took one call every 30 seconds relating to domestic abuse. The charity Refuge reported a 700% increase in calls to its helpline in a single day. The UN has described the global spike in domestic abuse as a “shadow pandemic” alongside Covid-19.

If you or someone you know are experiencing abuse, please contact Ramsdens Solicitors. We work closely with domestic abuse services and can provide help and assistance for your safety and security. In an emergency, please always call 999.

Other helpline resources include the 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline which you can call on 0808 2000 247 or the Men’s advice line on 0808 801 032.

If you would like to speak with a member of our Family team in confidence, please call 08000 147720 or send us an email to book a free information session via telephone.