St. John's bars should adopt 'angel shot' system to protect female customers, says women's council

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St. John's bars should adopt 'angel shot' system to protect female customers, says women's council

The head of the St. John's Status of Women Council says a Florida restaurant's unusual method of protecting its female customers should be adopted by bars and eateries in this province.

The Iberian Rooster, a Portuguese restaurant in St. Petersburg, is offering a special drink for anyone who wants to be saved from a date gone wrong.

It's called the "angel shot", and women can order it from the bartender as a way to secretly ask for help. The actual shot doesn't exist, but is a code to signal they are not comfortable. 

The restaurant has posted a sign in the women's bathroom, explaining how the angel shot works. If ordered "neat", it means the women needs an escort to her vehicle. If ordered "on the rocks" it means they would like the staff to call them a cab. Ordering one "with lime" means the bartender is being asked to call the police.

Jenny Wright told CBC's On the Go that the angel shot system should be adopted by businesses in St. John's.

"I think it's time. It's easy, and it's an effective tool at preventing sexual assault," she said

"At the same time, what it's doing is letting your patrons know that you're looking after them."

No questions asked

Wright said she likes the system because it's easy to learn, and takes the onus off women to articulate exactly what is happening to them, which is often difficult to do in an uncomfortable situation.

This way, the bartender will know what the customer needs and will react right away without question.

Wright said many bars are already training their staff in similar safety practices, so adopting the angel shot program shouldn't be difficult. She said it's a good thing for the bottom line as well, as many bars in the U.S. and U.K. have seen increases in business when they bring in safe bar policies.

"It's a win-win all around," she said.

"People feel safer, bars see better business. We are well overdue for getting a program like this in our bars downtown."