Team Lopez – The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has launched a new domestic abuse codeword scheme, Ask for ANI, where victims will be able to access support through thousands of pharmacies across the UK.
The Ask for ANI scheme allows victims to discreetly signal that they need help and access support. By asking for ANI, trained pharmacy workers will offer a private space where they can understand if the victim needs to speak to the police or would like help to access support services including national or local domestic abuse helplines. Pharmacies can provide a safe space for victims to sound an alarm if they are isolated at home with their abuser and unable to get help in another way.
Last year, the Prime Minister committed to launch this scheme at the Hidden Harms summit in recognition of the impact of coronavirus restrictions on the ability of victims to reach out for help. This scheme was initially proposed by survivors.
The codeword scheme will initially be available through the 2,300 Boots stores across the UK as well as 255 independent pharmacies. The Government has confirmed that there will be an ongoing sign-up process open to all pharmacies. More information can be found on the Government’s website - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pharmacies-launch-codeword-scheme-to-offer-lifeline-to-domestic-abuse-victims
The scheme will complement the charity Hestia’s UK SAYS NO MORE Safe Spaces initiative by enabling pharmacy staff to offer immediate and emergency assistance. Building on the successful Home Office #YouAreNotAlone campaign, this scheme is another way government is raising awareness of the vital support available through domestic abuse charities and other partners including the police.