Sydney women worried about their safety during a dodgy date will soon be able to head to the bar and ask for “Angela”.
From this weekend, women can use the special codeword and trained staff will be able to help them get away.
Following on from an initiative launched in the UK, Australian women can ask staff for “Angela” at almost any pub, bar or nightclub and they can be discreetly led out of the venue or be taken to a space away from the person who is making them feel unsafe.
Staff across Sydney’s hospitality venues have also been trained to make sure the person has a safe way of getting home by either calling someone to pick them up, ordering a cab or calling police if the situation requires it.
The Ask for Angela initiative was officially launched by the NSW government on Tuesday after crime statistics published by NSW Police showed that sexual assaults in the state increased by more than seven per cent in the two years up to March 2018.
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Indecent assault and other sexual offences are also up by 6.3 per cent, the statistics revealed.
The “Ask for Angela” campaign began in Lincolnshire in England two years ago and has gained global traction as more women began reporting incidents of Tinder dates gone wrong.
Sydney’s Deputy Lord Mayor Jess Miller said the launch of the Ask for Angela initiative in NSW sent a strong message that “creepy behaviour” would not be tolerated.
“I, like many people, have zero tolerance for bad behaviour and this is a step toward ensuring that being made to feel threatened, or intimidated, is not something anyone should have to put up with,” she said.