Codeword scheme launched to help domestic abuse victims

Published on 11 February 2021
'ANI' codeword allows people to secretly signal for help
Brief
1 min read
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Thousands of pharmacies across the UK are taking part in the Ask for ANI scheme, which allows victims of domestic abuse to secretly signal that they need help.

By asking for 'ANI', which phonetically sounds like the name Annie, a trained pharmacy worker will offer a private space, offer a phone, and ask if the individual would like help accessing support services, such as national or local domestic abuse helplines.

The codeword scheme is being promoted via discreet social media adverts and paid search. Pharmacies have been given promotional materials to display in stores, to signal that they are participating in the scheme.

Health professionals, social workers and job centres will also be asked to promote the scheme. Initially, it will be available through 2,300 Boots stores across the UK, as well as 255 independent pharmacies.

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This article was published in the February 2021 edition of Brief, which brings you updates in police law, operational policing practice and criminal justice, produced by the College of Policing's legal services department.