Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has today given his backing to a partnership between the domestic abuse charity Hestia and the high street bank TSB which will see a Safe Space initiative rolled out to 290 TSB high street banks
Hestia is a domestic abuse charity that manages the rollout of Safe Spaces across the country for those seeking refuge from domestic abuse. Safe Spaces was initially developed during the pandemic in response to the rising numbers of domestic abuse victims trapped at home with their abusers. Expanding it to TSB branches will take the total to over 5,600 Safe Spaces nationwide. Other Safe Space partners include Boots, Superdrug, Morrisons and Well pharmacies, as well as hundreds of independent pharmacies across the UK.
All TSB branch colleagues have received specialist training to increase their confidence in responding to disclosures of domestic abuse and will provide victims with access to the Safe Space in their branch.
The partnership means that the TSB Denton, Manchester branch, will provide a Safe Space for local people suffering from domestic violence.
TSB was the first bank to launch this partnership and has already successfully trialled the scheme across Hereford, Shropshire, and Worcestershire.
Hestia also provide Online Safe Spaces, providing a portal of information and resources on company websites for people experiencing domestic abuse.
The portal provides another opportunity for people experiencing domestic abuse to seek support and does not show up on browsing history. Online Safe Spaces are currently available on national websites including Royal Mail, Post Office, Thames Water and Network Rail.
You can access the portal by clicking on the Safe Spaces logo on participating websites.
Andrew Gwynne said:
This is such an important initiative launched by Hestia and in conjunction with TSB.
Hestia data shows a near 40% increase in people trying to access specialist support during the first lockdown, and it is vital that businesses and communities provide Safe Spaces to those seeking refuge from domestic abuse.
I would encourage anyone who is seeking help to contact Hestia, or to utilise their Safe Space service.
Sue Harper, Head of Domestic Abuse Prevention at Hestia said:
During the pandemic, self-isolation has given abusers a new method of control over victims making it very difficult for them to get the help they need. As restrictions ease, it’s vital that access to specialist domestic abuse support is readily accessible.
Businesses have a unique role in breaking the silence around domestic abuse. By providing a Safe Space in their banks, TSB will help us reach many more victims of domestic abuse, ensuring they get the specialist help and advice they need.
We hope many more businesses will follow their lead and support this scheme.
For anyone seeking information or urgent support Call Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247 or through the contact form or live chat service. If you are a male victim, you can access support through the Men’s Advice Helpline on 0808 8010327. Other specialist support services are available. If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.