Domestic Abuse Codeword Scheme
January 15, 2021
The Ask for ANI Scheme…
Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) is a codeword scheme developed by the Home Office to provide a discreet way for victims of domestic abuse to signal that they need emergency help from the safety of their local pharmacy.
The ‘Ask for ANI’ scheme is intended to work alongside and build on existing work and provide an additional tool that can be used to help the most vulnerable victims access emergency support in the community. The scheme has been developed with the help of partners including the domestic abuse sector, pharmacy associations and the police.
How the scheme works…
Victims of domestic abuse will be able to use the codeword ANI in participating pharmacies (including all Boots stores and participating independent pharmacies) to let staff know that they require an emergency police response or help contacting a helpline or specialist support service.
When a victim uses the codeword or asks for help, the member of staff will offer to accompany the individual to the consultation room. They will then check whether the victim wants the police to be called. If so, the staff member will offer the use of a phone to dial 999 or make the call on the victim’s behalf.
Participating pharmacies will display posters in their window and around the pharmacy to let customers know that they can approach their staff to seek help. Any information shared will be treated confidentially.