Victims of domestic abuse are being offered a new codeword scheme to help them signal for help from the safety of a pharmacy.
Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) has been developed by the Home Office to allow domestic abuse sufferers to signal they need emergency help to a chemist.
It is being rolled out this month to help those who have felt isolated and more difficult to ask for help during lockdown.
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.
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.
When a victim uses the codeword or asks for help, the member of staff will ask the victim to accompany them to the consultation room. They will then check whether the victim is in danger and 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.
If the victim is not in an emergency situation, the staff member will support the victim to contact a national domestic abuse helpline or local support service. They may also contact the police via 101.
Detective Superintendent Steve Bean said: “The lockdown is difficult for everyone, but more so for those who are forced to stay at home with someone they are frightened of. The Constabulary are still here and ready to help.
“We are concerned that long periods of having to stay indoors, possibly feeling unwell and concerned about the future could place extra strain on relationships which could escalate into abuse.
“For those already at risk the lockdown may limit their opportunities to get help. The Ask for ANI scheme could prove a lifesaver and we are pleased to be supporting it.”
Martin Surl, Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “This scheme is a positive step towards providing more support for those who are not safe at home. My office works closely with Gloucestershire’s domestic abuse support services, so we know what a lifeline Ask for ANI could be for victims.
“I would like to remind those in danger that they are entitled to leave their home to seek refuge or support without breaking any lockdown rules.”

Participating Pharmacies


Boots 38-46 Eastgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 1PU
Boots Units 3-6, Quedgeley Retail Park, Gloucester, GL2 4NF
Badham Pharmacy 33 Churchdown, Morely Avenue, Gloucester, GL3 2BL
Badham Pharmacy Parton Road, Churchdown Medical Centre, Gloucester, GL3 2JH
Badham Pharmacy Unit B, Belgrave House, Whittle Way, Brockworth, Gloucester, GL3 4BJ
Badham Pharmacy Rikenel, Gloucester City Health Centre, The Park, Gloucester, GL1 1LY
Badham Pharmacy Aspen Medical Centre, Horton Road, Gloucester, GL1 3PX
Badham Pharmacy 12 London Road, Gloucester, GL1 3NE
Badham Pharmacy Unit 2, Longford Local Centre West, Horsbere Drive, Longford, Gloucester, GL2 9DH
Badham Pharmacy Kingsway Health Centre, Rudloe Drive, Quedgeley, Gloucester, GL2 2FY


Boots 197-199 High Street & 12-15 North Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1DB
Boots Gallagher Retail Park, Tewkesbury Road, Cheltenham, GL51 9RR
Badham Pharmacy 256 Six Ways, London Road, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, GL52 6HS
Badham Pharmacy 6 Prestbury Road, Pitville, Cheltenham, GL52 2PW
Badham Pharmacy 23 Church Road, Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham, GL52 8LR
Badham Pharmacy 102 Whaddon Road, Cheltenham, GL52 5NF
Badham Pharmacy 4 Stoke Road, Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham, GL52 8RP
Badham Pharmacy 118 Swindon Road, St Paul’s Medical Centre, Cheltenham, GL50 4BJ
Badham Pharmacy 62 Hewlett Road, Cheltenham, GL52 6AH
Badham Pharmacy 84 St George’s Place, Cheltenham, GL50 3QD
Badham Pharmacy Unit 2, The Village Square, Upper Rissington, Cheltenham, GL54 2FL
Badham Pharmacy Cleevelands Medical Centre, Sapphire Road, Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham, GL52 7YU


Boots 57 High Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 1AU
Boots 70-72 Parsonage Street, Dursley, Gloucestershire, GL11 4AA
Boots Westend, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL6 9JA
Boots 37 Tanglewood Way, Bussage, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL6 8DE
Boots 16B Chapel Street, Cam, Dursley, Gloucestershire, GL11 5NU

Forest of Dean

Boots 9-11 Market Street, Cinderford, Gloucestershire, GL14 2RT
Boots 1 High Street, Lydney, Gloucestershire, GL15 6JS
Badham Pharmacy 9 High Street, Newnham, Gloucestershire, GL14 1BB
Day Lewis Pharmacy 19 Broad Street, Newent, Gloucestershire, GL18 1AQ


Boots 92 High Street, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 5JZ
Badham Pharmacy 105 Queens Road, Priors Park, Tewkesbury, GL20 5EN


Boots 39-43 Cricklade Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1HY
Boots Market Place, Fairford, Gloucestershire, GL7 4AB
Badham Pharmacy 11 The Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham, GL54 1BQ

Swindon & Bristol

Boots 100 High Street, Cricklade, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN6 6AA
Badham Pharmacy 45-47 Filwood Broadway, Knowle, Bristol, BS4 1JL
You can view the Ask for ANI map by clicking here.
Latest NewsAsk for ANI Scheme