‘We all have a responsibility to tackle the statistics’ – IT Blanchardstown back safety scheme

The Ask for Angela initiative aims to help people who feel uncomfortable or at risk while out socialising.

Vice-President of the Blanchardstown Institute of Technology (ITB) Luke Daly said he was researching sexual harassment and assault of third-level students when he came across the initiative.

“It was actually used in Waterford I.T., who adopted it from somewhere in England beforehand,” said Daly.

The Ask Angela scheme is to prevent vulnerable people from being victimised in social situations // Ian Curran

“We have been in touch with 50 venues, with Salmon’s in Mountview, Dublin 15 standing out, which is an ITB Students Union bar which hosts events for students, along with The Bell Pub in Blanchardstown Village.

“The statistics show that one in five women, one in 10 men and half of transsexual and non-binary experience some form of sexual violence, harassment, or assault during their college experience, while LGBTQ are four times more likely to experience this as opposed to their heterosexual counterparts.”

The ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative offers an escape route for uncomfortable or potentially unsafe social situations.

The person is instructed to ask a staff member for ‘Angela’, and they are then brought to a safe place and are assisted in escaping a difficult situation.

“I think it’s a brilliant idea and a scheme that all bars and places where there is plenty of social interaction should implement,” said Ashley St. Mart, a bartender in Salmon’s.

“All it takes is a couple of posters in the toilets and to inform all your staff of the procedures required should someone require to use of the service, and it could save someone’s life.”

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