People experiencing domestic abuse can now walk into any HSBC branch in the UK to access a ‘safe space’ and seek support and advice.
The move is part of domestic abuse charity Hestia’s ‘UK says no more’ campaign, which was initially launched in pharmacies and aims to increase the availability of specialist support for victims of domestic abuse.
Each branch will provide an area for people to phone a helpline, contact a support service or talk to a friend or family member.
Some 4,000 HSBC employees have received specialist training as part of the scheme.
Jackie Uhi, head of branch network at HSBC UK, said: “HSBC UK is proud to play a significant role in breaking the silence around domestic abuse.
“By providing a safe space in each of our branches, located at the heart of local communities, HSBC UK will help Hestia reach victims of domestic abuse, ensuring they get the specialist help and advice they need.”
Hestia chief executive Patrick Ryan said: “We want to ensure that anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse has access to specialist help and advice and that they have the opportunity to build a life beyond the crisis.
“By working with HSBC UK it allows us to widen our support network for victims to over 6,000 safe spaces.
“We hope many more businesses will follow HSBC UK’s lead and support this scheme.”
Minister for safeguarding Rachel Maclean said: “It is essential that victims and survivors of domestic abuse are able to access support and advice throughout our community.
“HSBC UK’s commitment through the Safe Spaces initiative aligns with the Government’s Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan which aims to achieve a stronger and more effective system across society to tackle these awful crimes.
“The fact that victims and survivors will be able to access a safe space at their local HSBC UK branch to safely call a helpline, support service or loved one will prove invaluable in helping to achieve this goal.”
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