Isle of Wight Council

Domestic Abuse

Help and Support

ANI support Poster

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If you are suffering because of domestic abuse or know someone who is you can call the Paragon freephone helpline: 0800 234 6266 or email There is further information about their local support and services at

Domestic Abuse referral pathway

Domestic Abuse referral pathwayThis IW Domestic Abuse Referral Pathway provides a clear visual pathway on how to respond to a domestic abuse disclosure. It also details the services that are available to signpost too and the support that is available.


Ask for ANI Scheme

During the COVID-19 period many victims of domestic abuse will have found themselves more isolated. They may be finding it more difficult to access help and support. The Government is launching the ‘Ask for ANI’ domestic abuse codeword scheme to help victims access emergency support in the community. Victims will be able to use the codeword ANI (Action Needed Immediately) in pharmacies. This will let staff know that they need an emergency police response or help contacting a helpline or specialist support service.

Participating pharmacies will display posters in their window. Around the shop to let customers know that they can approach their staff to seek help. When a victim uses the codeword or asks for help, the member of staff will ask the victim to go with 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. This may be the only opportunity for a victim to contact the police and get immediate help. In some cases the victim may not need emergency help and the staff member will assist them to contact a national domestic abuse helpline or local support service. They may also contact the police via 101. 

Pharmacies that are participating in Ask for ANI - on the Island

The scheme is voluntary so not all pharmacies will be participating in Ask for ANI, however participating pharmacies will display posters to show that they are operating the scheme:

  • Currently all Boots Pharmacies have signed up for this on the island.
  • Gibbs and Gurnall, 34 Union Street, Ryde PO33 2LE.
  • Regent Pharmacy,  Well Road, East Cowes PO32 6SP.
  • Seaview Pharmacy, Pier Road, Seaview PO34 5BL..
  • Regent Pharmacy, 59 Regent Street, Shanklin.

It is expected that many more independent pharmacies will follow.

Safe Spaces

Some pharmacies in your area will already be running another pharmacy-based scheme called Safe Spaces which enables victims of domestic abuse to use the pharmacy consultation room to access information on domestic abuse support services.


UK says no more 

UK says no more is working with 

  • Boots UK, 
  • Superdrug pharmacies, 
  • Morrisons pharmacies, 
  • Independent pharmacies,

Across the UK to provide Safe Spaces in their consultation rooms for people experiencing domestic abuse

How to access a Safe Space.  

  • Walk into any participating pharmacy in the UK.     
  • Ask at the healthcare counter to use their Safe Space.  
  • A pharmacist will show you to the Safe Space. Which will be the consultancy room.
  • Once inside, you will find displayed specialist domestic abuse support information for you to access. To make that call or access Bright Sky safely. Safe Spaces are open and ready for you to use and can be identified by the poster in store.

The Ask for ANI scheme can work alongside Safe Spaces to support victims and can display jointly branded materials.

However, all pharmacies have safeguarding policies and procedures. They will always respond to request for help from vulnerable members of the community regardless of the scheme. 


Please don’t suffer in silence- ask for help if you need it.

Keeping Safe

Safety Planning

The most dangerous time for a person in an abusive relationship is when they are considering leaving, or have they just left. Anyone thinking about this is advised to call one of the support services for help and advice.

A safety plan is vital whether you intend to stay or to leave and should include the following:

  • Arrange where you might go if you have to leave urgently.
  • Find places where you can quickly and safely use the telephone. 

  • If you have children, teach them how to dial 999 and make up a code word that you can use when you need help.

  • Carry a discreet list of telephone numbers for support services and friends. 

  • Try to save money so that you have bus or taxi fares in an emergency.

  • Get an extra set of keys for the house and car and keep these in a safe place, with  money and anything else you may need should you have to leave quickly.

  • Talk to your children and let them know it is not their fault.

  • Talk to trusted friends, relatives, your doctor or nurse about how you feel.

  • Consider opening a savings account in your name.

  • Always try to take your children with you. Or make arrangements to leave them somewhere safe if this is not possible.

  • Make plans for pets, if you are unable to take them with you.

  • Consider visiting the Law Centre or a solicitor to discuss what options are available to you.

  • Try to do things which would get you out of the house, such as walking your dog, putting out the rubbish or going to the shops to practice how you would leave.

  • Consider leaving a bag with a trusted friend or relative containing the items you would need if you had to leave urgently. Also consider who may lend you money in an emergency.

Top tips to keep digital safe

Technology is an integral part of our lives. Unfortunately it can provide abusive people with tools and opportunities to control, track and abuse. It can also be an important source of support and safety information for victims of abuse. 

Consider your digital footprint – Update security and restrict visibility of the technology in your life.

Be password savvy – Change user names and passwords. Even if you don’t think that the accounts have been compromised.

Check security settings - Update security settings on social media accounts. This is so that only the people who you want to connect with can see your posts, photos and information.

Be aware of location settings - Lots of apps and software record information about your geographical location. This information could be misused by someone with access to your accounts/devices. Check which apps are using location settings and then turn off any that you don’t need.

Tracking apps - Apps that you have installed by yourself, which another person then accesses information from. Consider turning off tracking apps when not in use. For example: ‘find my friends/phone/tablet’, GPS fitness trackers, sat nav.

Joint accounts - Consider any connected or joint accounts that may have been installed on more than one device. It could give someone access to your information or devices. This could include accounts for: iTunes, app stores, Google Play store, eBay, Amazon, Kindle and others.

Secure your home WiFi network -  A person may be able to access your devices via the WiFi network. Which can be accessible without being inside your home. Change the login details and password so that your network cannot be accessed without your knowledge.

Be camera aware - Cameras and devices can be accessed remotely or activated by apps. Cover the webcam on your computer/tablet when not in use.

If you or someone else is in immediate danger or at serious risk of harm, you are advised to call the police on 999.

If you don’t tell anyone about abuse, it is likely to continue and get worse over time. Telling someone, a friend, family member or one of the organisations listed on this page is important. By telling someone you will be able to start protecting yourself and your children. There are many different agencies you can call depending on the help you need.

Other organisations that can help:

  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline  - provide 24hour support, help and information. 0808 2000 247
  • Galop (Formerly Broken Rainbow) – specialist LGBT and anti-violence charity 0800 999 5428
  • Men’s Advice Line -  supports male victims of domestic violence 0808 801 0327
  • Isle of Wight Safeguarding Partnership - if you're worried about a child call 0300 300 0117
  • IW Adults Safeguarding Team - support adults with care and support needs who are at risk of domestic abuse call 01983 814980
  • Hourglass - a charity that works with elderly victims of abuse call 0808 8088141 
  • Southall Black Sisters - offer specialist advice, information, casework, advocacy, counselling and self-help support for Asian and African-Caribbean women. Services in several community languages. Tel: 0208 571 0800
  • Karma Nirvana - Karma Nirvana’s staff and most of its volunteers are survivors of forced marriage and HBV. Tel: 0800 5999 247
  • Hampton Trust – work with perpetrators to break the cycle of abuse, conflict and exploitation call 02380009898
  • Barnados - Supporting children affected by domestic abuse 08000087005


If you’re at risk of domestic abuse, remember the Silent Solution

In danger, need the police, but can’t speak? Make Yourself Heard.

The Silent Solution system enables a 999 mobile caller who is too scared to make a noise, or speak, to press 55 when prompted. This lets the police know the person has a genuine emergency.

  1. Dial 999,
  2. Listen to the questions from the 999 operator,
  3. Respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can,
  4. If prompted, press 55.  This lets the 999 call operator know it’s a genuine emergency and you’ll be put through to the police. 

For more information go to: Make Yourself Heard

Hollie Guard App

Hollie Guard is a free app for smartphones that has been designed to protect both men and women from possible danger. Hollie Guard turns your smartphone into an advanced personal safety device at the touch of a button.

If in danger, simply shake your phone to generate an alert. Your location, audio, and video evidence of the incident will automatically be sent to your emergency contact via text and email. Shake it again and it sends out a high pitched alarm and the flash starts to strobe, to attract the greatest attention. From the moment Hollie Guard is activated, your location is tracked and can be viewed in real time by your emergency contact. 

See Hollie Gazzard Trust to learn more about the trust and the free Hollie Guard smartphone app