Domestic Abuse - 'Ask ANI' - Pharmacies Launch Codeword Scheme To Offer ‘Lifeline’

More than 250,000 domestic abuse offences were recorded in England and Wales between March and June last year The government has now teamed up with Boots and independent pharmacies to launch a domestic abuse 'Ask for ANI' codeword scheme.
lady standing in pharmacy talking to a male pharmacist

Domestic abuse victims will be able to "Ask for Ani", in 2,300 Boots and 255 other pharmacies nationwide as part of a codeword scheme to indicate they need help. ANI means 'action needed immediately'.

From Thursday, anyone who is suffering domestic abuse will be able to ask for support without their abusers or other members of the public knowing. 

Participating pharmacies will display posters in their window and around the pharmacy to let customers know that they can approach their staff to seek help. Any information shared will be treated confidentially. When a victim uses the codeword or asks for help, the member of staff will offer to accompany the individual to the consultation room. They will then check whether the victim wants the police to be called. If so, the staff member will offer the use of a phone to dial 999 or make the call on the victim’s behalf. If the victim is not in an emergency situation, the staff member will support the victim to contact a national domestic abuse helpline or local support service. They may also contact the police via 101.

The government-backed scheme is similar to the "Ask for Angela" one launched by the Metropolitan Police in bars, pubs and restaurants to prevent sexual violence.

More detail available on government website here

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