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"Ask for Angela" anti-violence program comes to SA

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South Australian pubs and other venues will start using the “Ask for Angela” initiative from this weekend, giving people who feel unsafe on a night out a discreet way to ask for help.

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The State Government announced today that the program, which originated in the UK, would be rolled out over the coming months, beginning this weekend.

Under the initiative, anyone who feels unsafe can ask bar staff at a participating venue to speak to “Angela”. Staff will then offer help, which could range from escorting the patron to a safe area, arranging a taxi, or calling security or Police.

Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said the program was designed to combat violence and anti-social behaviour.

“A fun night out should be just that – a fun night out,” Chapman said. “However, in some cases, things can take a dark turn and people may feel at risk and isolated or afraid to seek help.

“Ask for Angela gives patrons at participating venues a simple way to seek assistance if they feel at all at risk.”

The Australian Hotels Association’s manager of government relations and policy, Wendy Bevan, welcomed the initiative.

She said the AHA had worked with the State Government on the rollout.

“Our hospitality businesses will always help patrons when asked and we hope the Ask for Angela program will encourage people who may feel unsafe to do just that,” she said.

SA Police also supported the program, saying it gives people another option to seek help without putting themselves at further risk.

Participating venues will identify themselves with signs in “discreet locations”, the Government says.

“Ask for Angela” was first run by the Lincolnshire County Council in 2016 before being taken up across the UK and in other countries.

NSW launched the initiative in July.

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