Irish pharmacies to provide safe space to help victims of domestic violence 1 month ago

Irish pharmacies to provide safe space to help victims of domestic violence

"We want to make sure victims know they will be believed, prioritised and listened to in a non-judgemental manner."

Irish pharmacies will soon provide safe space to help victims of domestic violence.

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Safe Pharmacy, a new initiative being launched by the Irish Pharmacy Union, will see almost 900 pharmacies across the country offer a private and safe space for anyone experiencing domestic abuse or coercive control.

Those who require a safe space can attend a pharmacy with a purple 'Safe Pharmacy' sign outside, where they will get access to a private consultation room. They will then be put in contact with specialist domestic violence services, as well as Gardaí.

The new initiative is being led by the Irish Pharmacy Union alongside An Garda Síochána, the HSE, and Safe Ireland.

Safe Ireland CEO Mary McDermott said: "Pharmacies are trusted locations and Safe Pharmacy is an exemplar of the type of skilled community response necessary to facilitate pathways from violence for women and children.

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"Priming competent personnel in local pharmacies to partner with specialist trained services in the locality, will contribute to the emergence and growth of safer communities into the future.

"This initiative provides a mechanism for a standardised, quality-assured, safety access-point offering across the entire country and Safe Ireland commends the IPU for its leadership role in responding to the ongoing surge of violence against women."

Meath pharmacist Kathy Maher told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that all pharmacies involved in the scheme will have a "visually and audibly" private and safe room available for those who require it.

"We know domestic abuse and violence and coercive control is a problem in all our communities behind doors," she said. "It happens to all age groups, both genders, every socio-economic class... so it is really important we reach out to those people.

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"We want to make sure victims know they will be believed, prioritised and listened to in a non-judgemental manner."