Ireland’s pharmacies are today supporting International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has said that there are now over 1,000 pharmacies signed up to its ‘Safe Pharmacy’ initiative which provides victims of domestic abuse and coercive control a safe place to access support.
Safe Pharmacy was launched in July as a partnership between the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), Safe Ireland, An Garda Síochána and the HSE.
The participating pharmacies have specially trained staff who will assist anyone who requests it with access to a phone in a private consultation room and contact details for local support services. The goal is to facilitate victims to make contact with a family member, local specialist domestic violence services or An Garda Síochána to seek further help.
Outlining the benefits of the scheme Ruth Garahy, a pharmacist and member of the IPU’s Community Pharmacy Committee, said: “We know that sadly there are many women and girls who are victims of violence around the world. Here in Ireland this often comes in the form of domestic abuse. Knowing where to go for help can be a big challenge for people in abusive situations and through Safe Pharmacy, we have created over 1,000 locations across the country where support is now available.
“We want anyone to know that in Safe Pharmacies they will find compassion, respect and support. They will be able to access whatever help they need, in the privacy of a consultation room. If you need help, or even if you think you may need help your nearest Safe Pharmacy is there for you.”
All Safe Pharmacies will display the purple Safe Pharmacy logo near the entrances. Anyone seeking support in a participating pharmacy should ask to speak to a pharmacist in the consultation room, and this will be facilitated.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Women’s Aid (24-hour freephone helpline at 1800 341 900, email [email protected]) or Men’s Aid Ireland (confidential helpline at 01 554 3811, email [email protected]aid.ie) for support and information.
Safe Ireland also outlines a number of local services and helplines at safeireland.ie/get-help/where-to-find-help/. In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112.