Help and support for domestic abuse

If you think you are in danger or you know of someone else who needs immediate help, call 999 now.

If you are suffering because of domestic abuse or you know someone who is, call the Paragon helpline on 0800 234 6266 or email There is more information about local support and services on the Paragon website.

Domestic abuse referral pathway

The IW Domestic Abuse Referral Pathway (PDF, 369KB) details the support services available to you.

Ask for ANI Scheme

Codeword ANI (Action Needed Immediately) is part of the government scheme ‘Ask for ANI’, for domestic abuse to help you get emergency support in the community. You will be able to ask for ANI in pharmacies. This will let staff know that you need an emergency police response, help contacting a helpline, or specialist support service.

Participating pharmacies will display posters in their window and around the shop to let customers know that you can approach their staff for help. When a victim uses the codeword or asks for help, staff will ask you to go with them to their consultation room. They will then check whether you are in danger and want the police to be called. If so, the staff member will offer you the use of a phone to dial 999 or make the call on your behalf.

The staff will understand that this may be the only opportunity you have to contact the police and get immediate help.

Non-emergency situations

In some cases, you may not need emergency help. The staff member will assist you to contact a domestic abuse helpline, local support service, or 101 for the police.

Pharmacies 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:

  • 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 more independent pharmacies will join the scheme.

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

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 using pharmacy consultation rooms across the UK to provide safe spaces for people experiencing domestic abuse:

  • Boots UK
  • Superdrug pharmacies
  • Morrisons pharmacies
  • independent pharmacies.

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 room.

Once inside, you will get specialist domestic abuse support information. To make that call or access domestic abuse help apps safely, such as Bright Sky. Safe spaces are open and ready for you to use and can be identified by a poster in store. You can also ask a staff member.

However, all pharmacies have safeguarding policies and procedures. They will always respond to requests for help from vulnerable members of the community whether they are a participant in the scheme or not.

Don’t suffer in silence. Ask for help.