You are probably wondering who in the world is Angela and why do I need to Ask for Angela? I was wondering the same thing a few months back when I saw a blurb in my local city paper telling bar patrons to Ask for Angela.
My immediate thought was that it was some new alcoholic beverage that is doing a major campaign across DC. However, I was wrong. Upon further research, I was pleasantly surprised to learn about this new program that is being launched in DC and many other states.
So what is Ask for Angela?
Angela is simply a code word used to discreetly ask for help. It was originally created in England back in 2016 and has slowly started making its way around the world. The target audience for the program is women who might be out at a bar/restaurant and may be feeling uncomfortable, harassed, and/or threatened.
There will be posters and signs that are on display inside the establishment and restrooms that help guide people on what to do. If you are feeling unsafe you can go up to the bar or to an employee and Ask for Angela. The establishments that are participating in the program have staff that are trained on this program and what to do if someone were to Ask for Angela. Each situation is different so the next steps will vary…it may be as simple as calling a taxi for the patron to something more extreme like getting the police involved.
In this digital age where dating and meeting people is all done by apps on a phone it’s a good way to help give you a little piece of mind. Let’s face it, the power of the internet is that people can hide behind their screens and make up a persona or character that makes them seem like an ideal partner. But in reality, when it comes time to meet face-to-face you just don’t know who you are getting. And we know there are a lot of weirdos out there. So a program like this could be helpful in a vulnerable situation.
While I think it’s great that programs like this get implemented nationwide, it’s also important to understand the reality as to why a program like this needs to exist in the first place. Also remember that you can’t solely depend on this phrase to save you.
You need to be aware that not all bars participate in the program. Consider that other people and maybe even the person you are with may know about the program. There’s also that chance that the staff you Ask for Angela for have no idea what you are talking about.
You’ve got to think beyond Ask for Angela in terms of your own safety. What happens next? What happens if Ask for Angela isn’t enough? Are you prepared? Do you have other resources or defense tools on you so you can defend yourself in case something further would happen?