Today in partnership with Safe Ireland, Boots Ireland have launched a new initiative named ‘Safe Space‘. It will provide a safe space for women suffering from domestic violence to go in their local pharmacy consultation rooms.
Within this confidential space they can avail of free and confidential support and advice from one of the 39 frontline specialist domestic abuse services across the country.
Safe Ireland is leading a nationwide campaign to end domestic violence, making Ireland safer for women and children.
With the current pandemic and safety measures encouraging families to stay indoors more often, there has been growing concern about women and children in homes where domestic violence is present. The more restrictive conditions means it is vital that there is easily accessible community support and specialist services.
According to An Garda Siochána, which has prioritised domestic and sexual violence through Covid-19 with Operation Faoisimh, domestic violence reports have increased by up to 30 percent in some areas.
In addition to the frontline services and support to 12,500 women and 3,000 children, Safe Ireland’s freephone helpline responds to around 19,000 of the 50,000 calls to helplines nationwide with the remaining calls going to local helpline services.
Unfortunately, in some parts of the country there has been increases of up to 60% in calls highlighting the urgent need for frontline services for vulnerable women and children.
Safe Ireland’s Co-CEO Mary McDermott said, “Boots Ireland are showing a welcome corporate-community leadership with this initiative.”
“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. 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.”
For more information about the initiative click here.
Click here for a list of all the 39 help lines available.