Bars are installing special code words, such as “Angel Shot,” to help women communicate for help if they feel unsafe.
This secret lingo trend has recently caught fire in local bars throughout the world, although its origins remain ambiguous. Suspected to have been coined by The Brickyard bar in St. Albans, England after patron, Taylor White posted a picture on Facebook of the bar’s restroom sign. The sign instructs its customers, should they feel unsafe or uncomfortable, to go to the bartender, ask for “Rachelle” or “Jennifer” “and we’ll get you out of it and/or get you a taxi.”
Now reports and social media show that bars and clubs in South Africa and the U.S. have also adopted similar tactics. One of the most viral, perhaps, is the secret drink code known as “Angel Shot.” This tactic appears to have originated in the Iberian Rooster restaurant and bar in St. Petersburg, Florida, meant to help people escape unsafe situations, like shady Tinder dates. Patrons need only alert the bartender by ordering an “Angel Shot,” and depending upon the urgency of the situation, there are differing degrees and orders that go along with this code drink. If you want an escort back to your car, order the drink neat, or if you’d like an Uber or taxi home, get an Angel on the rocks or with ice. In graver situations, ordering the drink with lime alerts the bartender to call the police.
Since news of the “Angel Shot,” has gone viral, the code drink has also been seen in a Hooters in South Africa, as well as other bars across America, including Midland–Odessa, Texas. Bartender and Assistant Manager of the Blue Door, Heather Weaver, disclosed in an interview with NewsWest9.com that in addition to bars adopting the “Angel Shot” code, bartenders are trained to spot abnormal or “fidgety” behavior amongst patrons as signs of trouble or suspicion.
With social media raving about these safe–dating codes, more and more new techniques are popping up in bars across the globe. Branching off the “Angel Shot” tactic is the “Ask for Angela” campaign, which debuted in bars throughout Lincolnshire, England. “Ask for Angela” gained major hype on Twitter, and has become popularized across the United Kingdom. The campaign even garnered support from actor, Ashton Kutcher.
Another trend, made possible thanks to Facebook, was invented by a domestic violence victim, called “Black dot.” The campaign called for women suffering from abuse to draw a black dot on their hand as a signal for help. Although criticized for being a dangerous method for both victims and assisters alike, it nonetheless gained a decent amount of support and solidarity online.
The secret bar lingo not only succeeds in keeping patrons safe, but also spreads awareness regarding sexual abuse and violence. Spreading like wildfire globally, it is difficult to track down the exact origins behind some of these tactics, but regardless of where they come from, code words like “Angel Shot” and “Rachelle” are making date nights safe nights.
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