In Austria, supermarket SPAR prints number for domestic violence helpline on receipts

Exacerbated by lockdown isolation and economic uncertainty, domestic violence spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help victims find the support they need, SPAR supermarkets in Austria added helpline details to printed receipts.

The initiative ran in Lower Austria in August 2021, spreading to SPAR and BILLA supermarkets and BIPA drugstores across the country in November and December 2021, to coincide with International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Tesco ran a similar campaign in June 2020, following reports that domestic violence cases in the UK had risen by 20% since the beginning of that country's first pandemic lockdown.

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Those who are abused often struggle to get the support they need. Adding a phone number to receipts isn't just a discreet way to communicate that help is available; it can get the message out to millions of shoppers. It's easy, won't cost supermarkets more than a bit of extra ink and paper, and is worthwhile even if it prompts just one person to escape intimate partner violence.

Which seemingly small action can your brand take to make a difference? Startups can employ their agility to address pressing issues. And if you work for a behemoth, put those vast resources and human capital to good use.

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