Pharmacies are giving domestic violence victims a safe way to reach out
This could be a vital lifeline.
Almost 100 Cork pharmacies have signed up for a new initiative to help people experiencing domestic abuse and coercive control.
Safe Pharmacy, led by the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) in partnership with Safe Ireland, An Garda Síochána, and the HSE, will provide any person who is experiencing domestic abuse with a safe and secure location to find help.
Anyone who is experiencing a domestic abuse situation and wishes to seek the support provided is advised to look for the purple Safe Pharmacy sign on the window displays of participating pharmacies.
Here’s how it works; the pharmacies will provide access to a phone in a private consultation room and contact details for local support services. This will allow victims to make that important call, for example, to a family member, local specialist in domestic violence services, or An Garda Síochána.
All you need to do is ask to speak to the pharmacist in the consultation room (this happens multiple times a day in every pharmacy so will not appear out of the ordinary to anyone who is in the pharmacy at the time).
“Sadly, it’s often the case that victims of domestic abuse and coercive control feel that they don’t have someone to turn to for vital support or to disclose what they are experiencing,” said Detective Superintendent Sinéad Greene, Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB), An Garda Síochána.
“In extending access to their private consultation room, the pharmacies that are part of Safe Pharmacy will be providing victims with a safe environment to access support, away from the perpetrator.”