Boots Launch ‘Safe Space’ In Irish Stores For Victims Of Domestic Abuse

Working together to keep everyone safe.

From today, June 4, Boots chemists around Ireland will launch their new ‘safe space’ service.

The initiative will offer victims of domestic abuse a safe space to go to during the ongoing pandemic to access support and advice so that noboby feels alone.

With helplines and refugee centres busier than ever, Boots aims to increase the amount of support available to people during lockdown, with their consultation rooms acting as another resource for people who are in danger, feel under threat and fear what’s next.

Partnering up with Safe Ireland, the national co-ordination body for domestic abuse services, this new service will now be available in 87 Boots pharmacies across Ireland.

Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland, Co-CEO of Safe Ireland, Mary McDermott said:

“The outbreak has reduced women’s capacity to reach out and ask for help – particularly what you have is a very definite cohort of women with several children who are unable to move.

“There’s a lot of reports of increased surveillance by abusive partners using technology, as well as just straight forward control and so the ability to make contact is greatly reduced.”

Explaining that people are finding themselves feeling trapped and “under siege” while in abusive situations during lockdown, Mary notes that the demand for support must be met with a variety of options so those in danger know there’s ways to seek help.

With many victims feel stuck “between the threat of the spread of infection or the threat of assault,” Boots new service will act as another option for those seeking a way out or advice on what they can do next.

When you arrive at the chemists, a Boots employee will bring you to the consultation room whereby you’ll be provided with all the details on local support and specialist services.

Continuing, Mary added that the staff in Boots will be trained on how to handle this situation but will not act as “experts”.

“We’re trying to address the shame, the stigma and the silence, as well as the fear and isolation at the moment,” she added.

If you or anyone you know needs to seek further help on the above issue, you can contact Women’s Aid’s 24hr National Freephone Helpline on 1800 341 900, or if you are living in Northern Ireland you can contact Refuge on 0808 2000 247

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