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British pharmacies launched a codeword during January 2021 to tackle a feared spike in domestic violence during lockdown, telling victims to “Ask for ANI” at the counter to secretly summon help. The scheme is backed by the Government and Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins.

“Ani”, stands for ‘Action Needed Immediately’, by asking for ANI domestic abuse sufferers will be taken into a private room by trained pharmacy staff and offered support, where they can be put in touch with police, support services and helplines.

Rebecca Procter, Partner and Head of the Wollens Family Team said ‘

“At Wollens, we are delighted to learn of this initiative. We support victims of domestic abuse across all areas of work within our Family Team and understand the need to open up access for advice. It can be very hard to talk to another about personal experiences and the increased availability of discrete, non-judgemental, supportive and professional advice is fantastic.”

Rebecca Procter 2

Rebecca Procter, Partner and Head of Family at Wollens 

During the first 7 weeks of lockdown in the UK, the police took one call every 30 seconds relating to domestic abuse. The charity Refuge reported a 700% increase in calls to its helpline in a single day. The UN has described the global spike in domestic abuse as a “shadow pandemic” alongside Covid-19.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the initiative, supported by more than 2,500 pharmacies, would provide a lifeline to people trapped at home with abusive partners or family members in the third national lockdown.

If you or someone you know are experiencing abuse, please contact Wollens Solicitors. We work together with local domestic abuse services and can provide help and assistance for your safety and security.

Contact our Family team in confidence on:

South Devon     01803 213251

Exeter               01392 274006

North Devon     01271 342268

Or email us on [email protected]

Or use our Live Chat service on our website which is available 24/7

Other helpline resources include the 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline which you can call on 0808 2000 247 or the Men’s advice line on 0808 801 032.

Family law