A new initiative designed to help individuals escape from uncomfortable situations on nights out has been welcomed by An Garda Siochana.
Following a successful pilot scheme in Tipperary, #AskForAngela encourages women – and men – to ask security or bar staff to “ask for Angela”, Angela being a recognised code word that can be used to ask for help.
An Garda Siochana backed the scheme last month on Crimecall, ahead of its launch in Cork this week.
‘Angela’ was introduced by Waterford City Council to local pubs last November, and gardai now aim to have it rolled out nationwide.
There are calls for the initiative to be introduced in Dublin, given the high volume of nightlife and pubs in the city, as well as the increasing use of dating apps such as Tinder.
Dublin City Cllr Rebecca Moynihan (Lab) said: “With more people now using online dating apps to meet people, they may find themselves in a situation where they don’t feel safe or something simply feels ‘off’, and this code of ‘asking for Angela’ is a great way of letting staff know they might need help.”
Posters are displayed on the back of bathroom doors and in other discreet locations with an explanation of the initiative.
“Tinder date not who they said they were? Does it all feel a bit weird?” are just some of the questions detailed on the poster, before encouraging those in uncomfortable situations to ‘ask for Angela’.
Guidelines are also given to venues and staff that participate in the scheme, detailing how to help the individual in question that asks for assistance.
City centre colleges are also welcoming the introduction of the initiative, with Trinity College welfare officer Damien McClean saying it’s important to have such practices in place to ensure everyone’s safety.
He said: “The importance of increasing safety for people in alcohol-based environments cannot be overstated, and this project is another way to ensure people feel safe in such environments.
“It’s really positive to see the joint issues of consent and harassment being taken seriously by publicans, and I for one would love to see #AskforAngela spreading throughout the country, as a common part of the safety routine when people are on a night out.”
#AskForAngela was initially launched in Lincolnshire in late 2016, by Hayley Child. It gained worldwide acclaim after a social media post of the poster in the bathroom of a pub went viral.