Victims of domestic abuse can access a Safe Space in 290 TSB branches across the UK to seek specialist support and advice, as TSB becomes the first bank to sign up to the scheme. In Bude, both TSB Bank and Boots are on the register as offering safe spaces.
Launched by the domestic abuse charity Hestia and its UK SAYS NO MORE campaign, with support from People’s Postcode Lottery Recovery fund, the scheme will enable more people to find help on their local high street especially as lockdown restrictions ease across the UK.
TSB’s commitment follows three pilots run in its Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire branches over the last six months as Hestia partnered with the Bank and local police forces to roll out the scheme.
Safe Spaces was initially developed during the pandemic in response to the rising numbers of domestic abuse victims trapped at home with their abusers. Expanding it to TSB branches will take the total to over 5,600 Safe Spaces nationwide.
Hestia has seen domestic abuse cases surge in the last year and during this latest lockdown there has been a 30 percent increase in demand for support to victims. There has also been a 10 percent increase in downloads of Hestia’s free domestic abuse smartphone app, Bright Sky, compared to the first lockdown. As lockdown restrictions start to ease, the charity is warning that demand could rise further as victims reach out for help after being isolated at home for so long.
All TSB branch colleagues have received specialist training to increase their confidence in responding to disclosures of domestic abuse and will provide victims with access to the Safe Space in their branch.
Victims can use a private room to make telephone calls, speak to a trained staff member and contact the local police force if necessary. The support is available to both TSB customers and members of the public and adheres to current health and safety regulations, ensuring people can still visit safely.
Carol Anderson, Director of TSB’s Branch Network, said: “It’s clear during lockdown victims of domestic abuse have had fewer opportunities to seek help safely. For some, going into their local bank will be one of the few connections they have with the wider community and in partnership with Hestia we’ll be there to offer that support when they need it most.”