Eastwood bank offers 'safe space' for domestic abuse victims
An Eastwood bank is offering a ‘safe space’ for domestic abuse victims following a surge in incidents during the pandemic.
TSB has said the new initiative will enable more people to find help on their high street as lockdown restrictions continue to ease.
The scheme has been rolled out following three pilots in TSB branches across the country during the past six months.
The branch in Eastwood will be among almost 300 banks nationwide to adopt the scheme.
The bank says it was initially developed during the pandemic in response to people suffering domestic abuse being trapped at home with their abusers.
Domestic abuse charity Hestia, which partnered with the bank and local police forces to develop the initiative, said it has seen incidents 'surge' in the past year.
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 domestic abuse support is readily accessible.”
TSB staff in Eastwood have received specialist training to increase their confidence in responding to disclosures of domestic abuse and will provide victims with access to a safe space.
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 bank said support is available to both TSB customers and non-customers and adheres to current health and safety regulations, ensuring people can still visit safely during the pandemic.
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.”
Find out more about other local businesses offering safe spaces here.