‘Safe space’ opened for domestic abuse survivors at 3 Sheffield TSB bank branches
A ‘safe space’ for domestic abuse survivors has opened in the Sheffield branch of a bank, where specialist support will be offered.
The initiative comes as part of a nationwide move by TSB banks geared towards making help easily available on the high street, which will see such spaces open across 300 branches.
This includes the branches in Darnall, Woodseats and Meadowhall, as well as Barnsley.
Domestic abuse prevention charity Hestia partnered with the bank and local police forces to roll out the scheme.
The scheme was initially developed during the coronavirus pandemic in response to people suffering domestic abuse being trapped at home with their abusers.
Hestia has seen domestic abuse cases surge in the past year.
Sue Harper, head of domestic abuse prevention at Hestia, said: “During the pandemic, self-isolation has given abusers a new method of control over victims making it very difficult for them to get the help they need. As restrictions ease, it’s vital that access to specialist domestic abuse support is readily accessible.”
TSB branch staff have received specialist training to increase their confidence in responding to disclosures of domestic abuse and will provide victims with access to a 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 non-customers and adheres to current health and safety regulations, ensuring people can still visit safely, the bank said.
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.”
Hestia’s safe spaces initiative was awarded over £652,000 by Postcode Innovation Trust, a grant-making trust funded by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.
The Domestic Abuse Commissioner Nicole Jacobs, said: “I am delighted to see that TSB has signed up to this scheme and will now offer victims support in their high street branches.”
People can find safe spaces located in various businesses here.