Staff at Bradford’s Metro Bank have been trained to offer a safe space to domestic abuse victims, many of whom are also victims of economic abuse by their partners.
It’s something they’ve been doing, along with 47 other Metro Bank branches, since last November for anyone experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse to safely call a helpline, support service or loved one.
Safe Spaces are part of this week’s UK Says No More campaign, which calls for the end of domestic and sexual abuse which impacts nearly two million people every year in the UK. UK Says No More is working with a number of high-street locations, including Metro Bank to provide Safe Spaces – a vital, private space for people experiencing domestic abuse to be able to access support safely, without being monitored.
The Bradford branch manager Denis Charlette said:“As a community bank, we want to be able to support anyone locally who wishes to use our private Safe Space to help them plan the next stages of their new life.”
Judith Lowe, Chair of Metro Bank’s Women on Work inclusion network, said: “The topic of domestic abuse has been high on our agenda over the last two years as we have worked to increase awareness through events and initiatives. As a community bank, our store teams already have well-established connections with local domestic abuse charities. As our stores are open seven days a week, evenings and 362 days a year, we can offer extended access on the high street for those needing a safe space and we didn’t hesitate to join the UK Says No More campaign.”
Metro Bank has a network of 76 stores nationally. Choosing the stores to participate in the physical Safe Space initiative required careful consideration to ensure victims would be protected. With Metro Bank’s open and transparent approach to high-street banking, some stores are fully exposed to public view, with large glass forefronts. Although all stores support the campaign, certain Metro Bank stores would not have been able to offer a truly safe and confidential space for victims.
Anyone wanting to find the nearest Safe Space to their home should visit https://uksaysnomore.org/safespaces
Metro Bank Bradford is at 5 Market Street, Bradford.The store is open Monday – Saturday 8:30am – 6pm. Sunday: 11am – 5pm.