Blog Article | 14 November 2023

Santander joins Safe Spaces, providing in branch support for domestic abuse survivors

Santander UK has announced that it is the latest high-street presence to join Hestia’s Safe Spaces scheme, where anyone experiencing domestic abuse can access support in the bank’s network of 445 branches.

As part of the scheme, Santander UK has introduced dedicated safe areas in the form of private offices across the majority of its branch network, where anyone who needs to can contact specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice.  

In the branches where there is no suitable private space, Santander colleagues will be on hand to signpost to the nearest available Safe Spaces partner in the area. All branches where there is no suitable space have an alternative Safe Spaces provider within one mile.

The support and access to a Safe Spaces room is available to anyone who asks for it, regardless of whether they’re a Santander customer or not. Specialist training on Safe Spaces and domestic abuse awareness has been rolled out across all of Santander UK’s branches.  

Dorothy Liviabella, Head of Vulnerable Customer Strategy, Santander UK said: 

We know that most domestic abuse cases involve some form of financial abuse, including controlling behaviour, preventing access to funds or blocking online access. Our people are trained to spot the signs of financial abuse and customers can speak to us for confidential support when they need help to regain control over their finances. 

“We’re pleased to introduce Safe Spaces, in partnership with Hestia, within our branch network as part of our support to those who are experiencing domestic abuse and need a safe place to access the help they need.”

Patrick Ryan, Chief Executive of Hestia, said: 

“Too many victims of domestic abuse are left feeling isolated and unsure where they can safely go for help. We’re proud to provide over 7,000 Safe Spaces on high streets across the UK, giving anyone experiencing domestic abuse a place where they can safely call a loved one, or access specialist support services.  

“We’re thrilled to welcome Santander on board as a Safe Spaces partner to expand this vital support to even more UK high streets. Together, we can ensure that more victims of domestic abuse can access vital support safely, which will undoubtedly save lives.”   

Launched by the domestic abuse charity Hestia and its UK SAYS NO MORE campaign, the Safe Spaces scheme was initially launched in pharmacies and aims to increase the availability of specialist support for survivors of domestic abuse. Anyone affected by domestic abuse can use the private Safe Spaces area to phone a helpline, contact a support service or talk to a friend or family member. 

In addition to the Safe Spaces initiative, Santander UK can offer a range of support for survivors of financial abuse, depending on their circumstances. The bank also operates a “tell us once” policy where customers can record details of any personal circumstances that may be impacting their finances, so they don’t need to go over the same information each time they speak to us. Customers can record information via “tell us once” via out chatbot on mobile or online banking, in branch or over the phone.

Customers experiencing financial abuse can find more information on Santander’s website, including a link to the UK Finance factsheet, “Surviving Economic Abuse”. 

To find your nearest Safe Space visit: 


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