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Call "ANI" - Assistance for those Experiencing Domestic Abuse

Sadly, domestic abuse continues to affect many individual’s lives in a manner of different ways. In these troubled times as we search for a way to reduce and contain the sometimes awful consequences of Coronavirus, we have yet to find a cure for domestic abuse. The pandemic and the resulting lockdown have forced many to spend long periods of time together in an enclosed space. When home is a safe environment where couples and families can relax and enjoy each other’s company, there will hopefully be few problems, maybe the occasional falling out, but hopefully nothing major. When home is a place where abuse is present then spending long periods of time there with an abusive partner and/or parent can increase the potential for both conflict and abuse and make fear and anxiety levels  unmanageable.

There are a variety of helplines and web-based services available that can be contacted for support, but that does rely on the recipient of the abuse having access to a phone or laptop and the opportunity for them to have a conversation which can’t be overheard or tracked in some way. With this in mind I was pleased to hear that a new scheme has been launched today to offer another avenue of support for those suffering abuse. Boots pharmacies and also some independent UK pharmacies are part of this new scheme.

If a person requires some assistance, they can go into one of these pharmacies and ask the person behind the pharmacy counter for ‘Ani’, this will alert the pharmacist to offer them a side room where they can say what they need to help them. This might be the opportunity to ring 999 or speak to a police officer on 101 or call one of the domestic abuse helplines.

The pharmacies taking part in this new initiative will have all received training on how to respond to those who ask for ‘Ani’. The Government are hoping that this new initiative will offer more opportunities to those who are experiencing domestic abuse and coercion and control to get the support they need.

Please do talk to a helpline if you have any concerns about potential abuse in your relationship. Victims of abuse regularly minimise their abuser’s behaviour and may well find ways to justify it in their own minds, any sort of abuse is never acceptable or justifiable, seek help to get the reassurances you need.

The legal team at Brethertons are familiar with dealing with abusive relationships and can offer support and advice in a non-judgmental way, you can contact them on 01788 579579. For emotional support you can email me on elizabethheadley@brethertons.co.uk