Falkirk police promote domestic abuse code word scheme

A national scheme developed to combat domestic abuse gives victims a code word to use to report the crime.

By James Trimble
Monday, 3rd January 2022, 1:12 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd January 2022, 1:12 pm

Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) was developed by the Home Office to provide a discreet way for victims of domestic abuse to signal they need emergency help from the safety of their local pharmacy.

Victims of domestic abuse will be able to use the code word “ANI” in participating pharmacies – including all Boots stores and participating independent pharmacies – to let staff know they require an emergency police response or help contacting a helpline or specialist support service.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Participating pharmacies will display posters in their window and around the pharmacy to let customers know they can approach their staff to seek help. Any information shared will be treated confidentially.

The scheme gives domestic abuse victims a discreet way to ask for help

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“When a victim uses the code word or asks for help, the member of staff will ask the victim to accompany them to the consultation room. They will then check whether the victim is in danger and wants the police to be called.

"If so, the staff member will offer the use of a phone to dial 999 or make the call on the victim’s behalf. If the victim is not in an emergency situation, the staff member will support the victim to contact a national domestic abuse helpline or local support service. They may also contact the police via 101.”

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background. However in the majority of cases,

domestic abuse is perpetrated by a partner or ex-partner, within both heterosexual and same-sex relationships.

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