A recent campaign has highlighted a simple solution to the all too common phenomenon of women and girls being harassed on nights out. Bray Fianna Fáil activist James Doyle sees potential in the idea and is calling on pubs and clubs throughout the county to promote its use.
“Nightlife like any activity comes with risks. One of those risks is unwanted and on occasion aggressive attention. Friends of mine who work in bars tell me that sometimes they can spot this behaviour and attempt to resolve it; other times they do not. There’s a whole load of reasons why this might be.
Following its success in the UK where a local council ran with the idea 2 years ago the “Ask For Angela” code word campaign has been adopted by Waterford County Council. An Garda Siochana are also supporting it. That’s because it’s proved highly successful. By empowering women to get out of difficult situations.
“She can simply ask for Angela at the bar and the bar tender is then aware and can seek to help her. That help could be by calling her a taxi , guiding her to a part of the venue where she can make an unnoticed exit or approaching the person involved and asking them to leave at an appropriate time and manner.”
Doyle, who has campaigned on other social issues believes word of mouth can help get the message out. But what would really give it a lift would be for pubs in our towns to row in behind it. “Staff awareness training could make a huge difference. So would putting up posters in discreet places such as toilets so customers are reminded there is a way out if the need arises.”