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Ways to get help

If you think you are being abused or harmed, or it’s happening to someone you know, you should tell someone.


  • If you are in immediate danger, phone 999 and ask for the Police;
  • If you are not in immediate danger, you can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247;
  • If you can’t call because your abuser is in the home, you can still contact the Helpline via Refuge’s contact form at;
  • You can also contact your local council for help.

Below you will find other sources of help and information.

Safe Spaces (UK Says NO More)

UK pharmacies signed up to the campaign are able to provide a safe space for victims of abuse to support them to seek help from abuse – make contact with specialist services if needed. There is a toolkit which allows victims to search nearest safe space site available in their community.


In addition to the Safe Spaces scheme, the Ask ANI campaign provides a more subtle codeword and way to access help via pharmacies.

Ask ANI (Action Needed Immediately) is a codeword scheme which enables pharmacies to help victims of domestic abuse seek help within their community.

The scheme has been designed to enable pharmacy staff to respond to the use of the codeword using a simple and straightforward process:

  1. Offer to accompany the person to the consultation room or private space
  2. Ask if they are in danger or in need of immediate help and want the police to be called:
  • If yes, call 999 and inform the call handler that a codeword ‘ANI’ response is required. The call handler will assess the situation and dispatch help
  • If no, share helpline details and offer a private space and a phone for the person to make this call themselves


There is a misconception that the police will always attend if you stay silent after calling 999 – This is not correct.

When you dial 999 anywhere in the UK, your call is answered by telephone operators from BT, who will then direct your call to the most appropriate emergency service.

Each day the 999 service receives large numbers of accidental 999 calls, particularly from mobile phones.  BT’s operators will attempt to confirm there is an emergency by asking the normal questions in order to receive a response.

If suspicious noises are heard, the call will be:

  • Put through to the police or the caller will be asked to press/dial 55 which will also route the call to the police.
  • IMPORTANT: The Police do NOT automatically have details of the callers location (particularly for mobile phones) so we can’t automatically send police to your location.

The BT operator will pass on to the police any information they have been able to establish and the police Customer Contact Centre Agent will then also attempt to assess if there is an emergency and the location of the caller.

emergencySMS - if you are deaf or can’t verbally communicate

You can register with the emergencySMS service. Text REGISTER to 999.

You will get a text which tells you what to do next. Do this when it is safe so you can text when you are in danger.

RAIL TO REFUGE (Women’s Aid)

The Women’s Aid Rail to Refuge scheme means that survivors with a confirmed refuge space can travel for free across England, Scotland and Wales.


This is a free app which provides private and confidential support to victims of domestic abuse.

Everyone’s business (Hestia)

Provides support to employers to ensure organisation have framework in place to support staff who experience domestic abuse.

LET’S KEEP TALKING – support from Healthier Lancashire & South Cumbria
If you live in Lancashire or South Cumbria, you can download the following Healthier Lancashire & South Cumbria (HLSC) Suicide Prevention Leaflet that highlights local support services.

Download here

Supporting You Safeguarding Toolkit Ways to get help