On the 24th of February, during our national holiday of love, Dragobete, within Diverta Lipscani, Necuvinte Association in partnership with the General Direction of Bucharest Police, took place the launch of the prevention and awareness „Vorbește cu Angela” (Ask for Angela) campaign, which is at the moment a pilot project that is to be implemented in the area of the Old City (Centrul Vechi) of Bucharest.
During the event, there have been representatives of the General Direction of Bucharest Police, The General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police, the National Agency of Equal Opportunities between Women and Men, The National Agency Against Human Trafficking, the British Embassy in Bucharest, representatives of the academia, non-governmental organisations, local and national press, representatives of JYSK Romania. Thank you all for attendance!
Where did “Vorbește cu Angela”/”Ask for Angela” come from?
„Ask for Angela” – A campaign with the purpose of preventing sexual crimes has been launched in 2016 in Great Britain, by Hayley Child, an expert in issues related to alcohol consumption and sexual assaults within the Local Council of Lincolnshire. She came up with the idea of creating a code through which the persons who are in danger within a club to be able to ask for help in a discreet manner, from the clubs’ staff. The project has began in collaboration with the Lincolnshire Police. In less than 3 years since it has been launched, the campaign was adapted in several other countries, such as Australia, Spain, Ireland.
What does “Vorbește cu Angela”/”Ask for Angela” actually mean?
Angela is actually a code word, an interface for the state’s intervention system. It can be easily remembered and it is friendly. It does not draw attention and it provides an easy way of getting out of a difficult context.
In collaboration with the General Direction of Bucharest Police, the staff of the bars and clubs from the Old City will be trained in order to recognise this cod as a call for help and to isolate the person who is in a difficult situation by taking her into a safe space of the club, in order to find out more details about the situation. According to what the person using the “Angela” code describes, the staff member can call a cab, the family/friends or the police, thus making sure, in a discreet manner, that she is safe.
Location – Because it is a campaign dedicated to the prevention of sexual crimes in clubs and bars. The most of the clubs are soundproofed, underground based, crowded, loud and there are problems with the signal of the mobile phone companies. It is often that, in order to make a call to the national line of emergency 112, you have to exit the club. This is not always possible.
Information – Many of us, if asked what is the exact address of the club we are in, would not be able to provide this piece of information, which is in fact essential for the national emergency line 112.
General state – the campaign is directed towards all the people who can find themselves in a difficult situation, including those who could not call 112 out of fear, lack of signal, due to a drunken state and/or drugs consumption.
Time – a single word can send a signal of alarm regarding the dangerous situation. It is easy to remember and to use. The call to the national emergency line 112 is requiring more information for an intervention and is not always possible for the person who is a difficult situation to provide it, sometimes even because of the fact that one might be heard by the abuser.
Safety – as soon as the code word is being used, the club staff has to take the person who is a difficult situation in the area of the club destined for staff members only. Immediate safety!
„Vorbește cu Angela”/“Ask for Angela” does not replace the national emergency line 112, but it offers support in a discreet way, until the police and/or the ambulance’s arrival, if necessary.
It is a campaign custom made for the situations occurring in the entertainment areas – clubs, bars, where the alcohol consumption is common.
Prevention of sexual crimes
Information and awareness/sensitisation regarding the sexual crimes and the notion of consent
Raising the accountability level of the clubs and bars’ staff through directly involving them in the prevention of these crimes
Raising the level of civic engagement
Support in building a non-violent and respectful culture
Discreet support in embarrassing or dangerous situations
Promotion of a support culture, rather than a shaming one (blaming the victim)
Empowering young girls and women
It is our problem, as a community!
#alaturideAngela – a support community
Photo: Andreea Oglagea