Dates can be hit or miss. Sometimes you go out with a new person and find someone you immediately bond with and with whom you have a lot in common. They could be your soul mate or the love of your life. But far more frequently, you meet someone new and then go out on a date to a bar only to find out they’re not your type or worse, they’re pushy and threatening.
Sexual violence and abuse occur more often than we know. Often victims do not say anything because they’re afraid of what will happen. Perhaps the abuser threatened to hurt the victim if they tell anybody, or a woman was raped by someone close to their family and doesn’t want the truth to come out for fear of how their family will react. There are a million reasons it is difficult to speak out about sexual abuse.
But sexual violence can increase on “blind” dates. Because two strangers are meeting, things can get out of hand.
One bar in Lincolnshire has posted a sign in the bathroom to help protect women.
The sign encourages women on bad dates to ask any staff member for “Angela.” When they do, they secretly tell the staff member that they need their support because their date is getting out of hand.
This strategy is brilliant because it empowers women without letting the would-be attacker on to it.
The sign has a headline “#NOMORE” and then says, “Saying no more to sexual violence & abuse in Lincolnshire.”
The poster that is up in the bathroom of the bar goes on to say:
“Hi I’m Angela. Are you on a date that isn’t working out? Do you feel like you’re not in a safe situation? Is your Tinder of PoF date not who they said they were on their profile? Does it all field a bit weird?
“If you go to the bar, as for ‘Angela.’ The bar staff will know you need some help getting out of your situation and will call you a taxi or help you out discretely – without too much fuss.”
This is the perfect solution for women who want to get out of a bad date. Instead of confronting the strange man head-on, these women can get safely out of the situation before something bad happens.
It can be uncomfortable ending a date early if things are not going the way you expected or if it feels weird. As humans, we don’t like to let other people down. This solution helps women get out of danger without making a scene. It is not necessarily anything personal with their date, and they just feel like it’s not the right place for them.
The strategy to help protect women is part of a broader campaign.
“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.”
What do you think about the idea?