Local MP backs the ‘Ask for ANI’ scheme

Wednesday, 20th January 2021

FROM the 14 January, victims of domestic abuse will be able to access support from local pharmacies in Tamworth, as part of the Ask for ANI scheme backed by Christopher Pincher MP and the Government.

The Ask for ANI scheme will allow those at risk or suffering from abuse in the local area to discreetly use a recognised codeword to signal that they need help and access to support.

Pharmacies across Tamworth and the rest of the United Kingdom are classed as essential retailers and remain open, meaning specifically trained staff are available to provide a safe space for victims to sound an alarm if they are isolated at home with their abuser, and unable to get help in another way.

The scheme will be available in local Boots stores, as well as a number of local independent pharmacies which will display a poster in the window, with more detailed information about the Ask for ANI scheme available online.

Ask for Ani pharmacy graphic

People can Ask for Ani in community pharmacies.

There will also be an on-going sign-up process for all pharmacies in Tamworth that want to take part.

The Prime Minister committed to launch this scheme at the Hidden Harms summit last year in recognition of the impact of Covid restrictions on the ability of victims to reach out for help and support.

The scheme was initially proposed by survivors as something that would have helped them.

Commenting, Christopher Pincher MP said:

“Lockdown restrictions are especially difficult for those experiencing domestic abuse, and where home is not the safe place it should be.

“That is why I fully support the Government’s backing of the codeword scheme, which will offer a lifeline to all victims in Tamworth and the rest of the United Kingdom.

“Local pharmacies already play an incredibly important role in our local community, and their support is vital in ensuring that domestic abuse victims get the help that they need during this challenging time.”

Domestic Abuse Support

Remember, you are not to blame for what is happening. You are not alone, and above all, you do not have to suffer in silence.

Domestic abuse can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • physical
  • emotional
  • psychological
  • sexual
  • financial

Staffordshire-wide and Warwickshire-wide support for victims and their families:

  • New Era’s Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent 24-hour confidential helpline: 0300 303 3778 and their 24/7 live chat facility at www.new-era.uk
  • Talk2Someone Warwickshire has a confidential helpline which can be reached on 0800 408 1552 – lines are open 8:30 am – 8:30 pm, Monday – Friday and 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday.

National support and out of hours:

  • Women’s Aid Domestic Violence Helpline – Free 24-hour national helpline run by Women’s Aid and Refuge – 0808 2000 247
  • Respect Men’s Advice Line – Confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse – 0808 801 0327
  • National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline – Emotional and practical support for LGBT+ people – 0800 999 5428

Localised support for victims and their families (including safe accommodation):

  • Pathway (supporting Lichfield and Tamworth): 01543 676800
  • Staffordshire Women’s Aid 24 hour confidential helpline (supporting Stafford, Cannock and South Staffordshire): 0300 330 5959

Staffordshire-wide services for perpetrators wanting to change their behaviour:

  • New Era Domestic Abuse Service for perpetrators who want support to change (across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent): 01785 601690  – (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm)

In an emergency, always dial 999