Virginia Bars Advise Women In Trouble To "Ask For Angela"

In an attempt to aid women are feeling unsafe at bars or on dates, 22 bars in Arlington, Virginia have introduced the "Ask For Angela" program. WJLA reports that in almost two dozen bars in the Arlington area (indicated by an Ask For Angela poster in the women's restroom), a woman can ask their server if they can "speak to Angela."

The server will reply that the atmosphere is too loud and suggest they talk in a different place, where staff will then figure out the best way to help the customer. "Typically, if that happens, we'll say, 'Can you come over to the service station so I can hear you better?' Then we can try to find out exactly what's going on and how we can help," Tim Walsh, a manager of one of the bars in the initiative, told WJLA.

WJLA reports that the campaign is a part of the Arlington Restaurant Initiative, aimed at "creating a safer environment for customers at establishments that serve alcohol." Workers at the bar establishments must participate in training related to "responsible alcohol service, fake ID detection, and public safety expectations." The ARI initiative is an adaptation of the international restaurant accreditation program Best Bar None, established in the U.K. There you can find Ask Angela posters in pubs in Lincolnshire.

The effort follows other efforts like having patrons ask for an "angel shot," or bars adding lids to drinks to make cocktails more difficult to drug. Some bars have also boosted security by hiring plainclothes detectives. Recently, Boston police held a meeting with bar owners encouraging them to call 911 if they're concerned about an inebriated patron leaving the bar alone or getting home safely, citing abductions of two women in recent weeks.