Supermarkets are offering safe spaces within their stores to victims of domestic violence seeking help.

Those experiencing domestic abuse can ask staff in participating stores including Lidl and Tesco in Thornton Heath for access to a phone, to use to call for support and advice.

New statistics have revealed in the six weeks up to 19 April there were 200 domestic abuse arrests – almost five a day – in Croydon. 

The police were also called to 561 domestic abuse offences in the borough during this period – around 13 offences a day.

Posters publicising where domestic abuse victims can seek help, as part of a new awareness campaign are being put up in every one of the borough’s 400 off-licences and supermarkets.

Lidl on London Road and Tesco on Brigstock Road are participating in the campaign which is being run in partnership between the FJC, Croydon police and independent domestic violence advisors.

Police officers were at Thornton Heath’s Lidl store on Monday morning handing out leaflets and talking to staff and customers to raise awareness.

Victims of domestic abuse will also be able to access safe spaces at Boots pharmacies consultation rooms.

Croydon FJC team has increased its opening hours and is now providing a seven day a week service during lockdown to ensure week-long support is available to domestic abuse victims.

Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities said: “The safe spaces will give survivors the time and space to access support when they may not be able to use their phone freely or reach friends for help.” 

If you need help, support or advice please call the FJC on 020 8688 0100. Those needing support outside of the centre’s opening hours can call the free 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Hotline on 0808 2000 247. In an emergency, call the police on 999

• A single mum fleeing domestic violence who moved to Thornton Heath and was in desperate need of furniture was inundated with offers of help after Rowenna Davis put out an appeal via Croydon Covid Mutual Aid. She had asked for donations of beds, a sofa, washing machine, freezer, hoover, dining table and chairs but got more than she expected with offers of clothes and books as well as financial support.

Rowenna said: “Thanks to everyone who has been so generous and offered to help here. Mum told me she had tears in her eyes when she received the list of all of these donations!”