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A Vital Lifeline for Domestic Abuse – Ask for ANI

One year on, over 50% of UK pharmacies are now signed up to the ‘Ask For ANI’ codeword scheme, providing a vital lifeline for domestic abuse victims.

Ella highlighted the local need for domestic support needed in this article that she wrote back in May 2020, click here to read

The innovative scheme allows those at risk or suffering from domestic abuse to discreetly signal their need for help. All Boots and Superdrug pharmacies are part of the scheme, as well as independent pharmacies that are displaying the poster.’Ask for ANI’ to access immediate help.

You simply walk up to a member of staff and ask to speak to ANI, they will then confirm who you’ve asked to speak to, then take you to a safe space .

Recognise domestic abuse

Does your partner, ex-partner or someone you live with:

  • cut you off from family and friends and intentionally isolate you?
  • bully, threaten, or control you?
  • take control of your finances?
  • monitor or limit your use of technology?
  • physically and/or sexually abuse you?

Domestic abuse is not always physical violence. It can also include:

  • coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
  • economic abuse
  • online abuse
  • threats and intimidation
  • emotional abuse
  • sexual abuse

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

If you believe that you are a victim of domestic abuse, there are signs that you can look out for including:

  • being withdrawn, or being isolated from your family and friends
  • having bruises, burns or bite marks on you
  • having your finances controlled, or not being given enough to buy food, medication or pay bills
  • not being allowed to leave your house, or stopped from going to college or work
  • having your internet or social media use monitored, or someone else reading your texts, emails or letters
  • being repeatedly belittled, put down or told you are worthless
  • being pressured into sex or sexual contact
  • being told that abuse is your fault, or that you’re overreacting

All forms of domestic abuse are not acceptable in any situation.

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse and feel frightened of, or controlled by, a partner, an ex-partner or family member, it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault and there is no shame in seeking help.