Every Branch Of This High Street Bank Now Has A Safe Space for Domestic Abuse Survivors

Photographed by Meg O'Donnell
Every branch of HSBC in the UK is now home to a safe space for survivors of domestic abuse.
Anyone experiencing abuse can walk into their local branch and access specialist help and advice. Launched earlier this week, the scheme is a collaboration between HSBC and Hestia, a charity that supports people in crisis.
More than 4,000 employees across all of HSBC's UK branches have been given dedicated training to operate the safe spaces, Hestia said in a statement.
The scheme is part of Hestia's UK Says No More campaign, which aims to increase the availability of specialist support for survivors of domestic abuse by providing a space for local people to phone a helpline, contact a support service or talk to a friend or family member.
The campaign reflects the shocking prevalence of domestic abuse in the UK, where one in four women and one in six men will experience it in their lifetimes. According to the latest ONS report, domestic abuse increased by 6% year-on-year in the period to March 2021.
"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," said Hestia's chief executive, Patrick Ryan.
“By working with HSBC UK, it allows us to widen our support network for victims to over 6,000 Safe Spaces," Ryan added. "Through the generous support of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery we are pleased to be able to provide communities with Safe Spaces. We hope many more businesses will follow HSBC UK’s lead and support this scheme."
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
If you have experienced sexual violence of any kind, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.

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