THREE women have requested help in pharmacies across Andalucia using the code, ‘Mascarilla 19’, for victims of gender-based violence in the first week of its launch.

The initiative, promoted by the Andalucian Women’s Institute (IAM) in collaboration with the Andalucian Council of Official Colleges of Pharmacists was launched on March 30.

The aim of the initiative is to support any woman who is experiencing a situation of violence or abuse in her home during the confinement by providing a safe place to report the situation in pharmacies using the code ‘Mask 19’ (Mascarilla 19).

Since the launch, three women in the provinces of Almeria, Huelva and Sevilla have resorted to this initiative to sound the alarm.

Across Andalucia, there are 3,878 pharmacies spread throughout the provinces and all are aware of the protocol.

When a woman uses the code, the pharmacy staff will make a call to 112 to advise of the situation in order that support can be put into place.

The director of the IAM, Laura Fernandez, said: “With this initiative we wanted to be faithful to our policy of bringing our resources closer to all women, moving to one of the most frequented places in this state of alert provoked by COVID-19.”

The Women’s Care number (+34 900 200 999) is also still in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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