‘Online Safe Spaces’

Support, advice and helpful contact numbers for those at risk of domestic abuse

eBay, Post Office and Ministry of Defence are among the first organisations to adopt our ‘Online Safe Spaces’ portal, which helps abuse victims access vital support and advice.

The portal will be installed on www.ebay.co.uk and www.postoffice.co.uk, reaching a total audience of 32.1 million. It will also feature on the Ministry of Defence’s internal website, for the benefit of their c.200,000 employees. Participating organisations have placed the Online Safe Spaces link at the bottom of their web pages, so it can be easily accessed by anyone needing to use the tool.

‘Online Safe Spaces’ is a discreet portal, which leaves no internet history trace, and is being offered by the Company upon request to any organisation for free, to support victims of domestic abuse. The service has been developed in collaboration with the charity Hestia and its ‘UK SAYS NO MORE’ campaign, alongside leading abuse experts from the University of Bristol.

The portal opens in a pop-up window, which can be installed on both internal and external websites. The service provides support, advice and helpful contact numbers for those at risk of domestic abuse. It also provides quick exit options for the person seeking information.

We have worked with the national ‘UK SAYS NO MORE’ campaign to ensure that the ‘Online Safe Spaces’ provides a host of helpful links and information, including; when to dial 999, national helplines, local support groups and further useful links. It also includes a questionnaire to determine the participant’s risk of domestic abuse.

Chief HR officer, Sally Ashford, said: ‘The ‘Online Safe Space’ portal has been developed to help victims of domestic abuse access vital online support if they need it. By placing the link on high traffic websites like eBay and Post Office.co.uk, we hope that victims will be able to use the service discreetly if required, without placing themselves at further risk.

‘We hope that the portal will inspire affected individuals to feel confident enough to seek help.’

Lyndsey Dearlove, head of UK SAYS NO MORE at Hestia, said: ‘Lockdown restrictions due to Covid-19 have provided opportunities for businesses to respond to domestic abuse for both their staff and customers through their digital platforms.

‘By adopting Online Safe Spaces, eBay, Post Office and Ministry of Defence are helping to ensure more victims of domestic abuse can access the vital support they need, when they need it. We know that when businesses take action, it saves lives, and we are pleased to have these organisations join Online Safe Spaces.’

18 Sep 2020