Morrisons is believed to be the first supermarket to offer a space where victims of domestic abuse can contact support services.
Morrisons is joining forces with the charity Hestia's UK SAYS NO MORE campaign because a trip to a supermarket is such a routine activity it’s unlikely to alert an abuser.
From Monday consulting rooms in pharmacies in 117 Morrisons stores will be designated safe spaces where Morrisons pharmacists - who have been specially trained - can direct those seeking help to the support they need.
Information about the safe spaces and where to get help will also be shared on posters and till receipts in all 494 Morrisons stores. Morrisons 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 during lockdown.
The move comes as the National Domestic Violence Helpline has reported a 25 per cent increase in calls and online requests for help since the lockdown began.
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 said: “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.”
Morrisons will focus on raising awareness and understanding of domestic abuse with colleagues across all 494 stores nationwide over the coming months to ensure that every store becomes a safe space for those who need it the most.
Hestia provides a free mobile app, Bright Sky, which has already seen a 47percent increase in downloads since the lockdown began. The app provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.Victims of domestic abuse can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 at any time.
Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.
Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.
And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.
Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.
If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.
Sincerely. Thank you.