Hi, my name is Anna: Learn how to ask for coded help in Prague bars

Launched in Britain in 2016, a global campaign to facilitate a safe escape from bars and nightclubs is picking up steam in Prague and Brno.

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas Published on 18.07.2023 15:15:00 (updated on 18.07.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Ask for Angela campaign originated in the bars and clubs of England in 2016 as a way of safeguarding nightlife patrons from sexual harassment. The initiative, which has since gone global, utilizes a password that allows anyone who feels uncomfortable in a club or bar to discretely call for help by mentioning "Angela," a fictional staff member.

A growing number of clubs in Czechia have begun to adopt the campaign, writes the Czech daily Metro. Prague's Prostor39 is among the pioneering venues where patrons can use the password "Ahoj, jmenuji se Anna“ (Hi, my name is Anna) to ensure they get home safely.

Czech-English posters appearing at Prostor39 display the protocol for summoning help with a series of questions: "Are you on a date that isn't really working out?” the posters read. "Is your Tinder date someone else than they claimed to be on the internet?" The program isn't gender-specific, and posters are also placed in the men's toilets.

Club patrons who find themselves in an uncomfortable or potentially unsafe situation are instructed to go to the bar and use the code word to secure a taxi home or ask for help discretely. Staffers will even escort individuals to their cars to ensure a safe departure. In more serious situations, the police may be called.

More than twenty businesses in Prague and Brno have joined the cause. Among the Prague venues where you can "Ask for Anna" are Ankali, Meet Factory, Karlovy Lázně, Barracks Karlín, Fuchs 2, and Rock Café. See the full list here.

Participating businesses can attend workshops via the Konsent organization to learn how to handle such situations. The workshops are part of the group's Respect is Sexy campaign which assists businesses in recognizing the dangers that often arise in these settings.

Venues around the world who join the Ask for Angela initiative believe that nightlife should be free from sexual harassment and that going out for fun shouldn't involve enduring unwanted advances or pressure. Czech businesses that support the campaign signal zero tolerance for harassment and help to make the city's nightlife scene safer.

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