Published: 15:15, 20 May 2020
| Updated: 15:19, 20 May 2020
A supermarket chain has announced it is offering a new service for victims of domestic abuse from three of its stores in Kent.
The consulting rooms at 117 stores in the UK will be adapted and specially trained pharmacists will be available to direct those seeking help to the support they need.
The move comes as the National Domestic Violence Helpline has reported a 25% increase in calls and online requests for help since the lockdown began.
The supermarket is also working with the crisis support charity Hestia which has launched the 'UK Says No More' campaign.
Lyndsey Dearlove, from 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.'
Information about where to get help will also be shared on posters and till receipts in all 494 Morrisons stores across the UK.
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.”
Victims of domestic abuse can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 at any time.
More by this authorLiane Castle