The “Ask for Angela” campaign is a safety initiative designed to protect women in bars and clubs from harassment, assault, and drink spiking. It was launched in the UK in 2016 and has since spread worldwide. The campaign encourages women to seek help from staff by asking for “Angela”. A code word that alerts staff to the fact that the woman needs assistance.

The goal is to empower women to take control of their own safety and to create a culture where sexual harassment and assault are not tolerated. In this blog post, we’ll explore the history, impact, and criticisms of the “Ask for Angela” campaign. As well as similar initiatives aimed at promoting safety in bars and clubs.

The Need for the “Ask for Angela” Campaign

Sexual harassment and assault are widespread problems in bars and clubs, particularly for women. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 43% of women have experienced some form of harassment in bars and nightclubs. Drink spiking, where someone adds drugs or alcohol to another person’s drink without their consent, is also a concern.

A survey by Drinkaware found that 25% of people had experienced or witnessed drink spiking in bars and nightclubs. These issues can leave women feeling vulnerable and afraid to go out at night. The “Ask for Angela” campaign aims to address these problems by giving women a way to seek help discreetly and safely.

The History

Designed to anonymously protect those who feel unsafe or threatened in club settings. The “Ask for Angela” campaign was launched in 2016 by the Lincolnshire County Council’s Violence and Abuse Partnership in the UK. The idea was originally conceived by a domestic violence worker who noticed that women were reluctant to report incidents of harassment or assault in bars and clubs. The campaign quickly gained momentum, with over 40,000 posters and beer mats distributed across the UK. It has since been adopted by venues and police forces in other countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States.

The Impact

The “Ask for Angela” campaign has been credited with helping to reduce incidents of harassment and assault in bars and clubs. People who work in bars and clubs in the UK have seen the “Ask for Angela” posters or have been trained to respond to the code word. The campaign has also received praise from law enforcement officials, who have seen a reduction in reports of sexual harassment and assault since the campaign was launched. However, it’s important to note that the campaign is just one tool in the fight against sexual violence and that more work is needed to create a safer environment for women in bars and clubs.

How the Campaign Works

The campaign is effective despite its simplicity. Women who feel threatened or uncomfortable in a bar or club can discreetly ask staff for “Angela.” The staff member will then help the woman to leave the venue safely, call a taxi, or contact the police if necessary. The campaign has been implemented in different ways in different venues, with some establishments training staff to respond to the code word, while others provide phone numbers or safe spaces for women to wait.

Importance of Training the Staff

The success of the “Ask for Angela” campaign relies heavily on the support and participation of the bars and clubs themselves. This is why it’s crucial for staff to be properly trained and informed about the campaign. Here are some reasons why training staff is so important:

  1. Ensuring the safety of customers. Staff who are trained on the “Ask for Angela” campaign are better equipped to identify potential threats and respond appropriately. This means they can take steps to prevent incidents from occurring in the first place and respond quickly and effectively if someone does ask for help.

  2. Promoting a culture of safety and respect. When staff are trained on the “Ask for Angela” campaign, it sends a clear message that the establishment takes issues of sexual harassment and assault seriously. This helps to create a culture where such behaviour is not tolerated, and where customers feel safe and respected.

  3. Encouraging participation in the campaign. If staff are not aware of the “Ask for Angela” campaign or don’t understand its importance, they may not be as likely to participate. By training staff, establishments can ensure that everyone is on board and that the campaign is being implemented consistently across all staff members.

Other Similar Campaigns

The “Ask for Angela” campaign is just one of several initiatives aimed at promoting safety in bars and clubs. For example, the “Good Night Out” campaign in the UK provides training and support for bars and clubs to prevent sexual harassment and assault. The “Safer Bars” initiative in Australia focuses on educating staff on how to recognize and respond to violence and aggression. Other campaigns include “It’s On Us” in the United States and “No Means No Worldwide” in India. While these campaigns vary in their approach, they share a common goal of promoting safety and reducing violence in bars and clubs.

Empowering Women and Promoting Safety

The “Ask for Angela” campaign has made an important contribution to the fight against sexual harassment and assault in bars and clubs. By giving women a discreet way to seek help, the campaign has empowered women to take control of their own safety and helped to create a culture where sexual violence is not tolerated. Whether you’re feeling uncomfortable dancing with someone on the dance floor, witnessing questionable behaviour among patrons at your table, or any other situation that might put you at risk – now you can do something before it escalates too far by simply asking your bartender if they know “Angela”.

While there is still much work to be done, campaigns like “Ask for Angela” offer hope for a safer and more inclusive future. It’s important for everyone to do their part in promoting safety and ending sexual harassment and assault.

We can all be part of the solution by supporting initiatives like “Ask for Angela” and working together to create a culture of respect and safety.