THE success of a pilot in Worcester will see almost 300 safe spaces created for victims of domestic abuse across the nation.

TSB branches in Worcester, Redditch, Tenbury Wells and Stourport-on-Severn were among those to train staff to tackle issues including financial coercion, human trafficking and other criminal activity.

The dry run has taken place in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire over the past six months in conjunction with domestic abuse prevention charity Hestia and local police forces.

Sue Harper, head of domestic abuse prevention at Hestia, said: “During the pandemic, self-isolation has given abusers a new method of control over victims making it very difficult for them to get the help they need.

"As restrictions ease, it’s vital that access to specialist domestic abuse support is readily accessible.”

TSB branch staff have received specialist training to increase their confidence in responding to disclosures of domestic abuse and will provide victims with access to a safe space in their branch.

Victims can use a private room to make telephone calls, speak to a trained staff member and contact the local police force if necessary.

Carol Anderson, director of TSB’s branch network, said: “It’s clear during lockdown victims of domestic abuse have had fewer opportunities to seek help safely.

“For some, going into their local bank will be one of the few connections they have with the wider community and in partnership with Hestia we’ll be there to offer that support when they need it most.”

People can find safe spaces located in various businesses at