The Clever Way Bars in the UK Are Battling Sexual Assault

Sometimes when you are in a bad situation, it’s difficult to ask for help.  What if trying to ask for help makes the situation worse?

What if you don’t know whether or not you are in a bad situation and don’t want to overreact–but you still want to get out of the situation just in case?

Some bars in the UK have a brilliant way to signal to the staff that you are uncomfortable and need help, without making a big scene about it.

I have had situations in the past that didn’t feel quite right.  I had one situation where I faked receiving an emergency call.  I ran off into the metro, and I noticed he followed behind.  I switched cars a few times, then hopped into the opposite direction train.  I was glad I listened to my gut on that since he acted so strangely once I left.

This sign allows someone to signal something doesn’t feel quite right–even if the individual has no actual proof that something is going wrong.

I can understand not wanting to make a big deal if there’s no “proof”.  And maybe sometimes, things will feel wrong when everything is actually okay.

But you don’t have to stay in a situation you are uncomfortable in.

crowded bar

I’m hoping that asking for Angela becomes a more well-known signal.  It has gotten press, but I don’t think that diminishes the effectiveness.  Quietly asking if Angela is there can be done in a very covert way.  But trying to explain you feel unsafe takes a lot of conversation (and perhaps, can result in some confusion).

When I bartended, I had some situations where I’ve asked a customer if she’s okay.  Once, I got a slight head shake from the person and was able to pull her to the side and grab our bouncer to help.

I wish this wasn’t a reality of the world we live in–but I’m glad that more people are thinking of ways to help.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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