Alcohol and crowds make bars ripe for sexual assault incidents to take place, and the county of Lincolnshire, England, came up with a brilliant way to help women who feel unsafe in these establishments.
Dubbed "Ask For Angela," the strategy recommends that women who feel they're in a dangerous situation go up to the staff at any given bar and ask for "Angela." The bar staff will then help call her a cab or help her out discreetly.
Twitter user @iizzzzzi shared a photo of the campaign's flyer detailing the strategy. "I saw this in a toilet and thought it was important and should be a thing everywhere, not just Lincolnshire," she wrote in the caption.
"Ask For Angela" is part of a larger campaign by the Lincolnshire county council, #NoMore, to raise awareness of sexual assault. It was reportedly rolled out alongside another campaign, Lincoln's Pubwatch, that coordinates with law enforcement to make bars safer.
"We wanted to do this in a more organized way, and worked with Lincoln's Pubwatch scheme to get the bars in the area to take part," Hayley Child, substance misuse and sexual violence and abuse strategy coordinator for Lincolnshire County Council, told Mashable. "We'd seen that a few individual pubs had done similar messages saying that if people's dates weren't going well the bar staff would help and call them a cab."
Discussion about sexual assault is usually focused on campuses and at the workplace, but bars are also public spaces where women often face harassment and assault. But some businesses, like pubs in Lincolnshire, are fighting back against it. In Washington, D.C., a fairly new program called Safe Bars trains bar, restaurant, and nightclub staff to respond to and prevent such incidents.
"While alcohol doesn't cause sexual assault, aggressors use alcohol as a weapon or an excuse in about 50 percent of sexual assaults," executive director Jessica Raven of Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS), which co-launched the program, told A Plus at the time. "That puts bar staff in a unique position to intervene."