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Metro Bank stores become a safe space for domestic abuse victims

Staff at 48 Metro Bank stores across the country – including Bristol, Reading, Newbury, and Slough – have been trained to offer a safe space to domestic abuse victims, many of whom are also victims of economic abuse by their partners.

Safe Spaces are part of the UK Says No More campaign and this week (5-12 March) is the campaign’s global awareness week.

No More Week 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 to provide Safe Spaces – a vital, private space for people experiencing domestic abuse to be able to access support safely, without being monitored.

“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,” commented Bristol Metro bank store manager, Steve Gilchrist.

The chair of Metro Bank’s Women on Work inclusion network, Judith Lowe, added: “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.”

The bank, which has 76 stores nationally, said choosing branches 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.

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