Victims of Domestic Abuse can use codeword at pharmacies to signal for help

Forces in England and Wales recorded more than 250,000 domestic violence crimes between March and June last year.

From Thursday (14th Jan), victims of Domestic Abuse can discreetly ask pharmacy staff for support by “Asking for Ani”, as part of a codeword scheme launched by the UK Government in partnership with Boots and many other independent pharmacies.

As soon as a they “Ask for Ani” the individual will be led into the private consulting room in the pharmacy area. Here a trained pharmacy worker will offer a private space where they will be put in touch with the police or other relevant support servies.

This codeword scheme is similar to the “Ask for Angela” scheme launched by the Metropolitan Police in bars, pubs and restaurants to prevent sexual assault. During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitality and many other industries have closed their doors making discreetly signalling for help or support near impossible for some.

Boots and other pharmacies, as an essential retailer based on high streets across the country, and with specifically trained staff, can provide a safe space for victims to signal for help if they are unable to get access support in another way.

The “Ask for Ani” scheme is currently available through the 2,300 Boots stores across the UK as well as 255 independent pharmacies. There will be an on-going sign-up process open to all pharmacies, please follow this link: