A county council in England has come up with a clever and discreet way of combatting sexual violence and abuse.
A photo posted to Twitter (and retweeted almost 30,000 times) shows a poster in the women's bathroom at a bar in Lincolnshire that advises anyone who is feeling unsafe on a date to ask the bar staff for "Angela"—a code word alerting the staff that someone is in need of help.
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."
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 idea of being helped discreetly is the most compelling part about the campaign. Fear of causing a scene or being wrong can be paralyzing for people in an unnerving situation.
Hayley Child, substance misuse and sexual violence and abuse strategy coordinator for Lincolnshire County Council, tells the Independent: "The 'Ask for Angela' posters are part of our wider #NoMore campaign which aims to promote a culture change in relation to sexual violence and abuse, promote services in Lincolnshire and empower victims to make a decision on whether to report incidents."
She adds: "Sexual abuse and violence is an national issue, and all councils have a responsibility to tackle abuse. This was Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership's first awareness raising campaign on this issue."
The only problem we see is that the #NoMore hashtag is a bit lost among many #NoMore hashtags on social media. But overall, it's a great effort toward fixing a major problem.