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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Ask for 'ANGELA' ... The new 'safe word' if you need to escape from a bad date

Dating: Some women struggle when they are faced with uncomfortable situations in which they feel unsafe.
Many women struggle with how to protect themselves when they are faced with situations in which they feel unsafe.

Many women have found themselves on dates in which they’ve felt uncomfortable or even unsafe. Getting out of these situations can be tricky, which is why one organization has designed a clever way to help women in need of assistance.
A poster in the restroom of a bar in Lincolnshire, England, directs women who might be in compromising situations to seek help from the establishment’s staff. The sign reads, “Are you on a date that isn’t working out? Is your Tinder or POF date not who they said they were on their profile? Do you feel like you’re not in a safe situation? Does it all feel a bit weird?”
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, one has the option to go to the bar and “ask for ‘Angela.’” Once a staff member is addressed in this way, he or she will then “call you a taxi or help you out discreetly — without too much fuss.”

The poster is sponsored by Lincolnshire Rape Crisis, a nonprofit that lends free support to women who have experienced sexual violence and assault.
“The ‘Ask for Angela’ posters are part of our wider #NoMore campaign, which aims to promote a culture change in relation to sexual violence and abuse, promote services in Lincolnshire, and empower victims to make a decision on whether to report incidents,” Hayley Child, the strategy coordinator for substance misuse and sexual violence and abuse for Lincolnshire County Council, explained.
The #NoMore campaign, held from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, was designed to raise awareness for ending sexual violence and abuse, support and empower victims, and help spread the word on the various support services the organization provides.
Fortunately, the campaign was a success, and it’s not the last people will see of it. “We have had a really positive response to the campaign, including thanks from victims of abuse for the work that’s being done. The campaign has also been supported by many professional partners in the county, and we will be relaunching #NoMore in February to tie in with National Sexual Violence and Abuse Awareness Week,” Child said.
This is a good idea for restaurants, bars, theaters, in fact any establishment where people might go for a date. I hope we can introduce a similar program in Canada. Even cab drivers, service station attendants, variety store clerks should be aware of the safe word and help any woman who seems to be in distress. Often, women are too frightened or intimidated to speak out directly. In fact people in all service industries might take it a little further and discreetly ask women who seem upset or scared if everything is all right.

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