The MP for Copeland has praised Boots Pharmacies in Copeland for offering a unique ‘safe space’ for victims of domestic abuse.
Those needing help can ask staff at selected Boots Pharmacies to use the consultation room, where they will be able to contact services for help and advice in complete privacy.
It follows a report by MPs which found that calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline rose by 49 per cent and killings doubled since lockdown restrictions were introduced in March.
Mrs Harrison is encouraging victims of domestic abuse across Cumbria to access this life saving initiative.
She said: “It was distressing to learn that there has been an increase in domestic abuse in Copeland recently.
“My message to victims is that national and regional domestic abuse support and services are available and open, and you can reach out for help.
“At a time where people could be feeling restricted but more desperate for help and advice, I commend Boots pharmacies and their staff who are playing a crucial role in helping to support victims during lockdown by creating a space where they can feel safe and protected.”
The Boots Pharmacies taking part in the safe space scheme across Copeland include Millom, Egremont, Whitehaven and Frizington
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “I am grateful to any and all businesses offering themselves as a safe space for those who feel stuck in an abusive relationship.
“Cumbria has seen a rise in reports regarding domestic abuse during COVID-19 but I want to make it very clear that if anyone in a dangerous, abusive situation will be given help to escape their abuser – the Police are still working as normal and will take every report seriously.
“There are now numerous ways in which victims of domestic abuse can come forward and a number of avenues they can take ranging from Police involvement to support organisations such as Victim Support and the Women’s Centres.
“Help is available to people 24/7 in Cumbria.
“I would always encourage anyone in an abusive relationship to call the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency however I understand that not everyone wishes to get the police involved.
“Victim Support is available in Cumbria and can help provide support and advice to anyone in an abusive situation, they can be reached on 03003030157.”
For information and support on domestic abuse, contact:
Police: 999 – press 55 when prompted if you can’t speak
Refuge UK wide 24-hour helpline: 0808 2000 247