Many women have been there, on a date where they’re starting to feel uncomfortable, maybe even unsafe.
Local coffee shop and bar, Forth, is hoping to help people who are in that situation. In the women’s bathroom hangs a sign, telling anyone who is feeling unsafe that they can “Ask for Angela” and use the code to ask staff for help.
“We can just help them if they’d like to get in a taxi, if they’d like to leave out the back or have assistance going out the front. If it’s really intense and they want us to call the police we can do that kind of thing as well,” manager of Forth, Ben Jones said.
Ask for Angela is a British campaign that started last year.
Jones said it’s in the women’s washroom because they’re more likely at risk.
“A lot of people are out on dates with strangers they’ve never met and in situations that can get uncomfortable. We want to have the option for people to get out of those situations,” Jones said.
For many women, like Shayna Plaut, walking away safely isn’t always easy.
“When you’re on a date or you’re in a situation you can feel really alone so if you can ask for Angela, basically you’re alerting other people that hey, something’s going on, something’s a little funky,” she said.
Matchmakers warn people to be aware of their surroundings when meeting someone offline.
“Never ever consume more than two drinks when you’re out with somebody for the first time. You have to be in control of your entire being,” Lianne Tregobov from Camelot Introductions said.
Winnipeg police also have some safety tips, including driving yourself, staying sober, telling a friend about your date and meeting in a public space.