By Fiona Frawley
Gardaí have backed the Donegal roll out of the Ask For Angela campaign, which provides discreet support for anyone who feels uncomfortable on a night out.
Ask For Angela originated in England in 2016, and is used by bars and other venues to keep people safe from sexual assault and dangerous, uncomfortable situations. The person who believes themselves to be in danger can approach the bar or a staff member and ‘Ask For Angela‘, a fictional member of staff. The actual staff at the venue will then help the person get home discreetly and safely by calling them a taxi, or assisting them in calling a friend or family member to collect them. The staff can also, if safe to do so (and the person asking for help is out of sight) ask the person causing distress to leave the premises. Staff will be trained and aware of what to do in the event of someone asking for Angela.
In a statement on Facebook, Garda Síochána Donegal said:
“The importance of this Campaign cannot be underestimated particularly at a time when online dating has reached an all-time peak. This launch coincides with the commencement of the Christmas & New Year Period when socialising is at its optimum.
“It is the aim of all stakeholders involved in this initiative to keep people safe across Donegal and it is intended that the launch of this campaign today will go some way to achieving our objective.”
“The campaign was also introduced to more than 100 bars and venues across Northern Ireland this week – speaking to BBC News, Det Supt Lindsay Fisher of the PSNI said:
“It is a simple, yet effective, initiative that allows those who may find themselves in a vulnerable situation with a quick and discreet way to access the help they need.”
“Ask For Angela is also in place in a number of businesses across Ireland – look out for Ask For Angela posters in bathrooms of pubs and clubs to identify venues who are using the system.”