Post Office and eBay adopt ‘safe spaces’ portal for domestic abuse victims

The Post Office, eBay and the Ministry of Defence are among the first organisations to adopt an online portal offering support to victims of domestic abuse, according to developer Royal Mail Group.

“Online Safe Spaces” is a discreet portal – which can be installed on both internal and external company websites – providing support, advice and contact information to those at risk of or experience domestic abuse.

Royal Mail Group, which launched the portal, said it will now be installed on the official websites for eBay and Post Office – reaching a total audience of 32.1 million.

It will also feature on the internal website for the Ministry of Defence (MoD), where it can be accessed by their 200,000 employees, Royal Mail Group added.

Minister for defence people and veterans Johnny Mercer said: “We are determined to clamp down on all types of unacceptable behaviour in defence, and this portal will sit alongside other initiatives such as our 24/7 bullying and harassment helpline.”

The portal opens in a pop-up window, features a quick exit button and leaves no trace in internet history, ensuring that those using the service are safe.

Royal Mail Group has worked with crisis charity Hestia and the “UK says no more” campaign to develop the tool, which enables victims to view information such as when to dial 999 and local support groups.

The initiative was developed by senior legal adviser Charlie Ryan, as part of Royal Mail Group’s entry in the Financial Times “Innovative Lawyers – Global Legal Hackathon Challenge”.

It asked participants to produce the most pioneering solutions to problems in society posed by the coronavirus crisis.

Sally Ashford, chief HR officer at Royal Mail Group, said: “By placing the link on high traffic websites like eBay and Post, 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.”