Richard Thomson, MP for Gordon, has welcomed a move by TSB to become the first bank to offer Safe Spaces for victims of domestic abuse, including in their Inverurie and Ellon branches.
The Hestia charity’s ‘Safe Spaces’ initiative includes 290 TSB branches across the UK which are equipped for victims to seek specialist support and advice, phone a helpline, or talk to a friend or family member.
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 the network to include TSB branches will take the total to over 5,600 Safe Spaces nationwide.
Mr Thomson MP commented:
“The surge in domestic abuse cases in the last year highlighted a pressing need to ensure that support is easily accessible to any and every victim across the UK.
“This move by TSB to be the first bank to commit to providing Safe Spaces is a real step forward in bringing support to those who need it. For anyone in this situation, please seek out the help you need and make use of these Ellon and Inverurie TSB safe spaces, whether you are a TSB customer or not.”
All 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 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.
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 abuse support is readily accessible.
“Businesses have a unique role in breaking the silence around domestic abuse. By providing a Safe Space in their banks, TSB will help us reach many more victims of domestic abuse, ensuring they get the specialist help and advice they need. We hope many more businesses will follow their lead and support this scheme.”
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.”