The Government is launching a domestic abuse codeword scheme to help victims of abuse get emergency support.
Through the scheme, victims can use the codeword by asking for ‘ANI’ (Action Needed Immediately) in pharmacies to let staff know that the victim needs:
- an emergency police response
- help contacting a help line
- or a specialist support service
Pharmacies participating in the voluntary scheme will display posters so customers know they can ask the staff to get help. This scheme also works alongside the ‘Safe Spaces’ scheme some pharmacies may already be running.
To view examples of posters and promotional materials that the pharmacies participating in the scheme will be using, please click the following link:
Once a victim uses the ‘ANI’ codeword, a staff member will ask the victim to accompany them to the consultation room. Staff will then check whether the victim is in danger and ask if they want the police to be called. If so, staff will offer the use of a phone or dial 999 on the victim’s behalf.
If the victim doesn’t need emergency help, staff will instead help them to contact a national domestic abuse helpline or a local support service.
The use of the codeword ‘ANI’ will alert call handlers that help from the police is required by a victim of domestic abuse. When police officers reach the pharmacy, they should follow normal procedures for responding to a domestic abuse call out such as completing a DASH risk assessment.
The Government are planning to launch this scheme in the coming weeks.