The sad reality is that – even in an age of heightened awareness, countless anti-sexual abuse campaigns and a soaring wave of female empowerment – women are still finding themselves in some undesirable situations on dates that are awkward at best.
At worst, they’re abusive and disturbing.
Among a circle of first date-sharing girlfriends, recent stories reveal that some guys just aren’t getting the memo.
One guy tried to half-jokingly take her cell phone so she couldn’t call an Uber to leave his place after she agreed to go back for a glass of wine. Another guy boldly assumed that since she was sitting across from him alone on a date, that meant he could rest his hand on her leg for five minutes. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.
Oh, and I can’t forget about the gem of a man who showed up drunk, was rude to the waiter, ordered half a dozen shots for himself and left her with the bill. These situations happen all the time, and some women have much worse stories.
And I will be the first to admit that these situations aren’t the easiest to discreetly escape.
But, a county council in England has a clever way of combatting sexual violence and abuse on dates – and one that I feel more establishments around the world should adopt.
If you find yourself in an uneasy situation at one Lincolnshire bar, all you have to do is go to the bar and ask for Angela and the staff will help get you out of dodge discreetly.
A poster in the women’s bathroom advises women who feel unsafe on a date to alert the bar staff with the code word.
i saw this in a toilet and thought it was important and should be a thing everywhere not just lincolnshire !!!! pic.twitter.com/oO45I7gaJL
— IZ (@iizzzzzi) October 18, 2016
The copy reads: “Are you on a date that isn’t working out? Is your Tinder or POF [Plenty of Fish] date not who they said they were on their profile? Do you feel like you’re not in a safe situation? Does it all feel a bit weird? If you go to the bar and ask for Angela, the bar staff will know you need help getting out of your situation and will call you a taxi or help you out discreetly—without too much fuss.”
Since being posted to Twitter, the photo has been retweeted almost 30,000 times.
The “Ask for Angela” posters are part of Lincolnshire County Council’s wider #NoMore campaign.
The initiative aims to inspire a culture of change when it comes to sexual violence and abuse and to empower victims.
Though we clearly have a long way to go collectively as a society, this is definitely a step in the right direction and other establishments should follow suit. However,to avoid any confusion or a really awkward situation, you may want to alter the code name if you have anyone named Angela working at your bar (just sayin’).