It’s accessible, confidential and free.
Boots Ireland has launched a ‘Safe Space’ initiative in partnership with Safe Ireland, allowing women who are suffering mental or physical abuse to reach out for help.
Women who are experiencing domestic violence can go into their local Boots and access a ‘Safe Space’ in a pharmacy consultation room, where they can contact one of the 39 frontline specialist domestic abuse services across the country and access support and advice.
Almost 5,600 separate incidents of domestic abuse have been reported to Gardaí in Ireland in the past two months.
Support services report calls are up 60%
Domestic violence reports have increased by up to 30% per cent in some areas during the Covid-19 lockdown. Safe Ireland, which provides frontline services to approximately 12,500 women and 3,000 children across Ireland annually, reports that some services in parts of the country have seen a 60% increase in calls, making access to support even more critical.
“We are aware that women contained with their abusers through the Covid-19 crisis will not have the space or freedom to call for the support they need from their homes,” said Safe Ireland Co-CEO Mary McDermott.
“The Boots ‘Safe Spaces’ provide a much-needed and welcome community-based location for people to reach out safely for vital professional advice and support.”
“If we want safe homes, we need to have safe communities. Communities that are intolerant of domestic abuse, have the courage to name it, believe women when they speak about it, and have the capacity to provide expert prevention and response supports and services,” McDermott said.
“We are not all experts, but we can all play a role in looking out for women and children, in helping to keep them safe and in standing against the crime of domestic violence in our communities. This practical initiative gives women who are experiencing abuse another avenue to reach out safely for protection if they can.”