Press Release from Buckinghamshire Council

21 July 2022

Buckinghamshire Council launches ‘Online Safe Spaces’ portal

Buckinghamshire Council has launched an Online Safe Spaces web portal to support people experiencing domestic abuse.

Online Safe Spaces – which is operated by Hestia as part of their UK SAYS NO MORE campaign – is a discreet portal that opens in a pop-up window from Buckinghamshire Council’s website. The portal provides support, advice and helpful contact numbers for those at risk of domestic abuse. It leaves no internet history trace and provides quick exit options for the person seeking information.

To access the portal, people simply need to click on the Safe Spaces logo, which can be found on the footer of every page of the Buckinghamshire Council website.

Arif Hussain, Deputy Cabinet Member for Community Safety, commented:

“Sadly, domestic abuse continues to be a crime that people do not feel they can report.

“To help with this in Buckinghamshire, we’ve launched our Online Safe Space, where people experiencing domestic abuse can access support and information. Simply click the Safe Spaces logo on our website to access the portal. This won’t show up in your browsing history.”

Sue Harper, Head of Domestic Abuse Prevention at Hestia, said:

“Organisations have a unique role to play in breaking the silence around domestic abuse and ensuring victims can access the help and support they need. Lockdown restrictions due to Covid-19 have provided an opportunity for businesses to step up their response to domestic abuse for their staff and customers through digital platforms. With the launch of Online Safe Spaces, we are delighted to work with Buckinghamshire Council to host an Online Safe Space to provide a vital lifeline to victims of domestic abuse.”

The new Online Safe Spaces portal is part of Buckinghamshire Council’s Buckinghamshire Domestic Violence and Abuse Strategy. This strategy includes enabling friends, colleagues, family and neighbours to be aware of what domestic abuse is and be confident to reach out to those experiencing it safely and know what services are available locally.

Buckinghamshire Council is also working to raise awareness of the signs of domestic abuse and the support that is available through its Domestic Abuse Red Flags campaign.