Evidence indicates domestic abuse can increase by up to 300% during lockdown, as victims and perpetrators are kept in close proximity for prolonged periods of time. Retailers can play a crucial role in helping to tackle this horrendous crime, and the BRC is working with the police and Home Office to help identify what our industry can do.

The police are keen to partner with major retail chains to tackle domestic violence during the coming weeks of lockdown. With victims isolated from any support mechanisms they may have had in place, a visit to the supermarket, pharmacy, or an online shop, could be their only contact with the outside world, their one chance to ask for help.

Working with the police and Home Office, we are looking to explore the feasibility of domestic abuse messaging through BRC members, the implementation of online portals where victims can request assistance when shopping with retailers, and ideas for ways victims could covertly engage with staff when physically present in stores.

Retail Receipt Messaging - May update

The police and Home Office have worked together and with retailers and other organisations to produce and approve receipt messaging, with contact numbers for helplines and a QR code to direct victims to the help they need.

They are keen to engage with retailers on this and that the scheme could have longevity beyond the coronavirus crisis period. 

A PDF and Word version of the receipts can now be accessed below. For more information on the scheme or to engage in the process, please contact Viran at v.wiltshire@met.police.uk 

Code word scheme

The Home Office has been speaking to a number of retailers directly about a code word scheme and we continue to feed in your thoughts on their proposals so far. We are expecting further details on this scheme, and how and when Home Office intend to roll this out, in due course.

Home Office Communications Partner Pack

The Government has launched a new public awareness campaign highlighting that if anyone is at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse, they are still able leave and seek refuge. The campaign will create a community around those affected by domestic abuse and reassure victims that support remains available. We have provided details for the Government’s “partner pack” below.

The Government are seeking supportive organisations to: 

  • Post a picture or video of yourself or someone from the organisation with the symbol of a heart drawn on their palm. Tag 5 or more people asking them to do the same to spread the message. Please use the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone in your post.
  • Alternatively, post the attached campaign asset on your channels and tag 5 or more people asking them to reshare, using the #YouAreNotAlone hashtag in your message.
  • Share the uk/domestic-abuse address where people can find out more information, including helplines. Again, please include the #YouAreNotAlone hashtag.

Click on the link for some campaign visuals. Here is some suggested text to accompany any social media posts: At home shouldn’t mean at risk. If you or someone you know is suffering from #DomesticAbuse, isolation rules do not apply. Police response & support services remain available. Find support at gov.uk/domestic-abuse or call 999 if you are in immediate danger. #YouAreNotAlone

The wider campaign materials and assets from the partner pack, including posters and leaflets, can be accessed here. There will be further additions to the pack as the weeks go on, including additional translations beyond the Welsh language variations available within the current pack.

If you have any queries about the campaign or the partner pack, please direct these to domesticabusecampaign@homeoffice.gov.uk. For specific queries or to feed in your business's view on the code word scheme, please contact Lyndsey.mullins5@homeoffice.gov.uk

Contact Mathew.morris@brc.org.uk or peter.andrews@brc.org.uk if you have any questions.