Burnley bank signs up to scheme that offers a place of refuge for victims of domestic abuse

A Burnley bank has become the latest organisation to sign up to an initiative that gives victims of domestic abuse a place to seek refuge, help and advice.

HSBC is now part of the Safe Spaces initiative in partnership with Hestia Charity. It joins three pharmacies in Burnley currently offering the service which provides a safe space for any person who is experiencing domestic abuse, with consultation rooms opened up to provide a safe and discreet way to reach out to friends and family, and contact specialist support services, should they be required.

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Visiting the branch to talk about the scheme Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham said: “It’s crucial that perpetrators of domestic abuse face the full force of the law. But for this to happen we need to ensure victims feel safe coming forward to speak up.

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham is pictured with Rafa Chiang, local Ddrector for HSBC UK Bolton Market and Lisa Durant, who is network manager for HSBC UK Bolton Market.

"That can be really difficult and is why it’s so important we have schemes like the Safe Space initiative at HSBC to allow both men and women to tell their story in a discreet and safe way.

"By asking to access the safe space, victims will be able to speak with family, friends or the police to get the support they need. And there’s also the Ask for ANI codeword scheme operating across the borough, and a discreet app which can be downloaded, called Bright Sky.

"Please, if you are experiencing domestic abuse, don’t suffer in silence. Come forward through one of the many channels available and support will be provided.”

HSBC says it is contacted by two customers every day on average mentioning domestic or financial abuse, and about a third of these are people looking to separate their joint finances.

To access any safe space simply walk into one of the following locations in Burnley listed below and ask a member of staff to use their safe space. You’ll then be shown to a private room where you can reach out to friends and family or contact specialist support services to start your journey to recovery.

HSBC, 12 Manchester Road. Well Pharmacy, 4 Browhead Road and Boots,(St James Street and Crowther Street).