Safe Spaces logo

Central Bedfordshire Council has added an Online Safe Space to its website to support victims of domestic abuse.

When users click on the Online Safe Spaces logo (shown above), which is at the very bottom of the all the Council’s website pages, a pop up appears that directs them to information on local and national domestic abuse support services.

The portal provides a discreet way for victims of domestic abuse to seek help, does not appear in internet browsing history and has a quick exit function.

The National Domestic Abuse Helpline reported a surge in calls during the pandemic from people seeking support.

Online Safe Spaces aims to increase the number of opportunities for victims of domestic abuse to safely access support while carrying out daily online tasks such as tracking a delivery.

Cllr Sue Clark, executive member for families, education & children, said:

“It’s really important that anyone experiencing domestic abuse knows they are not alone, and that support is available.

“By installing the portal on our website, I hope anyone who needs support will be able to access it discreetly, safe in the knowledge that the portal is untraceable and won’t appear in internet browsing history – the council’s website will appear instead.

“We’re pleased to support this initiative and we stand against domestic abuse and sexual violence.”

The online portal was developed by the Royal Mail Group in collaboration with crisis support charity Hestia. To access the portal, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk, scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the Online Safe Spaces logo.

Companies can find out about how to install the portal on their own websites by emailing community@royalmail.com.

Support is also available on the Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership.