“Can I speak to Angela please?” may be a phrase that you have never heard before, or it might be something you hear every time you go out. But what is the meaning behind it?
Asking for Angela is a discreet code and covert way for any girl to ask for a member of staff’s help if they feel uncomfortable, harassed or unsafe.
Where did it come from?
The campaign was introduced by the Lincolnshire Police around 2 years ago, in 2016, with it since being adopted by clubs, bars and student unions across the country. It is active in many locations in and around Canterbury including the Christ Church Students Union, The Penny Theatre pub and Club Chemistry alongside others.
What is the concept?
The main idea is that if you are on a night out, out socialising or on a date and you feel you are being harassed or in a situation which has gone sour… you can simply go and ask a member of staff where you are to speak to Angela and they will attempt to intervene and help get you out of the situation.
Staff in the locations where the campaign is active are trained to either ring a taxi or remove the individual causing the problem, from the situation.
The main target of the campaign is to reduce sexual assault and bring a safety net to nights out for those individuals who are more vulnerable. Not only does it provide a more comfortable environment it also makes it easier for people to ask for that help which they may really need.
Why is it needed?
Sexual harassment is a main worry and risk for females on a night out. This is supported by the Zero tolerance campaign which attempts to reduce not only harassment on a variety of levels, but stalking and violence as well as sexual assault.
Unwanted sexual touching is extremely common and girls often anticipate this on a night out. WHY? This should not be what we consider ‘normal’ even in a clubbing environment.
The Ask Angela campaign is one way to stop this before it gets too far.
54% of women aged 18-24 have experienced unwelcome physical attention on a night out (Drink Aware).
Matthew Jones-Roberts, promotions and marketing manager of Club Chemistry and Tokyo Tearooms spoke about his view on the ASK Angela campaign.
“We’ve been using ASK Angela as a scheme for about 18 months now. We have embraced ASK Angela as a method of keeping people safe on a night out.
“It is a great concept to protect people that are in need. Something that is acceptable to me might not be acceptable to you and vice versa, so ASK Angela is for when you personally feel in danger, that there is a threat or uncomfortable.
“You can’t say that one situation is terrible and one is not because actually it is all down to the individual. That is what is so great about ASK Angela, it embraces how everyone feels regardless of who they are.”
68% of female students have experienced sexual harassment while at university or college.
The Lounge bar and kitchen at the Christ Church students union is a huge draw for the CCCU students living in Canterbury, with there being social events held there with alcohol involved week in, week out.
With the campaign being active in the students union, it is a great measure in place for women who don’t feel safe.
According to the Office for National Statistics, students were more likely to have been a victim of sexual assault in the last year than adults of other occupations.
Remember, if you NEED help or you DO NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE no matter what the situation is to always remember you can Ask for Angela.