Morrisons pledges support to victims of domestic abuse in lockdown

Morrisons has opened up its pharmacy consulting rooms to victims of domestic abuse so that they may safely contact support services. Specially trained pharmacists in 117 of the supermarket's stores can direct those seeking help to the support they need.

The decision follows a 25% increase in calls for help reported by National Domestic Abuse Helpline since lockdown began. The supermarket is working with the charity Hestia which has launched the UK SAYS NO MORE campaign as victims of domestic abuse are forced to isolate with perpetrators.

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. You are not alone. Come to our pharmacies and let our colleagues know if you need help.”

Victims of domestic abuse can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 at any time.

Separately, the MOJ has this week secured £25m as part of a £76m government package of support to charities supporting vulnerable people including victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse.

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