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Armagh jobs office to pilot ‘Ask for ANI’ domestic abuse scheme

The codeword alerts staff that the person is seeking immediate, urgent help

A scheme which allows domestic abuse victims to receive emergency help is to be piloted in four Jobs and Benefits offices (JBos), including Armagh, from today (Monday).

The ‘Ask for ANI’ codeword scheme provides anyone at risk of abuse with support in accessing help and a safe space in which to do so.

Action Needed Immediately (ANI) launched in pharmacies in January 2021.

Due to its success, the scheme is now being extended to include four Jobs and Benefits offices, the Department for Communities has said.

Each office will take part in a nine-month pilot with specialist staff trained to help those suffering, or at risk of, abuse.

Safe spaces will be available in Armagh, Andersonstown, Larne and Lisnagelvin offices where individuals who ask for ANI will be brought to a safe, private room.

The ANI codeword alerts staff that the person is seeking immediate, urgent help. A clear process will be in place to help staff provide necessary support. Their role focuses on offering individuals a quiet, private space to contact specialist services who can advise and support accordingly.

The pilot scheme will also run at 14 Jobcentre sites across England, Scotland and Wales.

The Ask for ANI scheme has been rolled out in over 4,500 UK pharmacies. An Ipsos MORI interim evaluation found that participating pharmacies handled an average of 5.4 disclosures per week.

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