Ask For Ani

What is Ask for ANI?

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many victims of domestic abuse have found themselves more isolated and may be finding it difficult to access help and support. The Government has launched the Ask for ANI domestic abuse codeword scheme to help victims access emergency support in the community.

Domestic abuse victims will be able to use the code word “ANI” (Assistance Needed Immediately) in “pharmacies” to let staff know that they require an emergency police response or help contacting a specialist support service/helpline. Participating pharmacies will display posters in their window and around the shop to let customers know that they can approach their staff to seek help.

How does Ask for ANI work?

When a someone uses the codeword or asks for help, the member of staff will ask the victim to accompany them to a 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. This may be the only opportunity for a victim to contact the police and get immediate help, but in some cases the victim may not need emergency help and the staff member will assist them to contact a national domestic abuse helpline or local support service. They may also contact the police via 101.