03 March 2021

A new scheme to support domestic violence victims

Ask for ANI is to help as many domestic abuse victims as possible, especially at the moment when they could be stuck in lockdown with a perpetrator.

Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) provides  a discreet way for victims of domestic abuse to signal that they need emergency help from the safety of their local pharmacy.

Victims of domestic abuse will be able to use the codeword ANI in participating pharmacies (including all Boots stores and participating independent pharmacies) to let staff know that they require an emergency police response or help contacting a helpline or specialist support service.

The scheme has been developed with the help of partners including the domestic abuse sector, pharmacy associations and the police and is being rolled out across the UK.

Promotion of the scheme is being targeted at those who may need the service or may have contact with victims of domestic abuse to keep the codeword discreet. Participating pharmacies will display posters in their window and around the pharmacy to let customers know that they can approach their staff to seek help. Any information shared will be treated confidentially. When a victim uses the codeword or asks for help, the member of staff will offer to accompany the individual to the consultation room. They will then provide appropriate support based on the individuals’ needs.

Work is being carried out to ensure all pharmacies are aware of the scheme so that staff working in non-participating pharmacies know the codeword and understand that a safeguarding response is required if someone uses the codeword in their pharmacy.

The Home Office are asking for help in raising awareness of Ask for ANI across local networks to help ensure that victims and frontline professionals know the codeword and how it can be used to access emergency support. If you know of anyone who directly works in this field please do share this information with them.

More information can be found here: Ask ANI>>