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The Angel Shot: An Innovation in Ensuring Women’s Safety

The Iberian Rooster, a restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, has developed a system for the purpose of assisting women who feel threatened by their dates. A poster details this code system in the ladies restroom, explaining the manners in which women can alert bartenders of the risk level of their situations.

Women can issue the code phrase “angel shot” and notify bartenders of the degree of assistance they need.The poster states women can tell bartenders they want “an angel shot neat,” meaning they want the bartender to escort them to their vehicle, “an angel shot with ice,” meaning they want the bartender to call a “lyft” or an “uber” to pick them up, or order “an angel shot with lime,” meaning they want the bartender to call the police.

This system was inspired by the Lincolnshire Rape Crisis, a support service for women and girls in East England.

Due to the efforts of the Lincolnshire Rape Crisis, women in London are “asking for Angela” to signal an unsafe situation during a date. This “escape-hatch” has not spread across the United States and according to First Coast News, the Iberian Rooster is the only restaurant providing this service. The development of services like “the angel shot” may be a step forward in the direction of increased prevention of violence towards women including sexual assault and rape. Women in both the United States and the U.K. have faced instances of drugging, kidnapping and sexual assault, especially in an age of online dating and dating apps.

Systems like “the angel shot” can be immensely advantageous in allowing women to seek safety under the guise of ordering a drink, a commonplace action that would not raise suspicion to the individual’s date. The “angel shot” was on Twitter’s explore page as a “today on Twitter” moment and the dating failsafe became a widely circulated topic with largely positive reactions.

Alas, this trend on Twitter poses a problem for the Iberian Rooster. Restaurant owner, Russell Andrade, said, “I’m surprised to hear people are just talking about this,” he [said]. “We didn’t put the sign up for any attention. That sort of goes against the point.” The owner is indeed correct as this system has spread like wildfire across social media sites and magazines Redbook and Good Housekeeping.

Now revealed to the public, the system has lost its practicality as all individuals pondering to attend the eatery will be aware of the code phrase and could take immediate action to either avoid the restaurant or take advantage of their victim before the phrase can be uttered. Despite this flaw, bars, restaurants, cafes, and any venue susceptible to becoming a common dating location can instill an approach similar to the “angel shot”. Code phrases can be specifically tailored to each eatery and only be known to women who attend the local location, reducing the chances of the code phrase becoming universal knowledge.

The “angel shot”  has the capability to trigger a movement for restaurants to take part in across the United States and abroad. This method can provide individuals who want to ensure the safety of women in their area an easy mode of participation in the fight against sexual assault and abuse. Become proactive and propose similar methods to the “angel shot” in your area and take part in the movement of ending violence against women.

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Melat Eskender
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Leftist, Humanist, Aspiring Political Journalist, and Advocate of Social Justice. You can find me @melateskender on twitter.

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