Keswick’s Boots pharmacy is offering victims of domestic abuse access to its consultation room where they will be able to contact services for help and advice in complete privacy.
The Keswick store is one of a number of Boots pharmacies across Cumbria to be taking part in the ‘safe space’ scheme which has been launched by the charity Hestia’s UK Says No More campaign in response to increased challenges faced by victims who are forced to isolate at home with abusers.
The scheme follows a report by MPs which found that calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline rose by 49 per cent and killings doubled since lockdown restrictions were introduced in March.
Keswick’s MP Trudy Harrison is encouraging victims of domestic abuse across Cumbria to access this life saving initiative. The MP for Copeland said: “My message to victims is that national and regional domestic abuse support and services are available and open, and you can reach out for help.
“At a time where people could be feeling restricted but more desperate for help and advice, I commend Boots pharmacies and their staff who are playing a crucial role in helping to support victims during lockdown by creating a space where they can feel safe and protected.”
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “I am grateful to any and all businesses offering themselves as a safe space for those who feel stuck in an abusive relationship.
“Cumbria has seen a rise in reports regarding domestic abuse during COVID-19 but I want to make it very clear that anyone in a dangerous, abusive situation will be given help to escape their abuser – the Police are still working as normal and will take every report seriously.”
Victims of domestic abuse can access help 24/7 in Cumbria in a number of ways:
- By contacting the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency (press 55 when prompted if you can’t speak)
- By contacting organisations such as Victim Support on 03003 030 157
- Refuge UK wide 24-hour helpline: 0808 2000 247
“Victim Support is available in Cumbria and can help provide support and advice to anyone in an abusive situation, they can be reached on.”