The Quebec Student Health Alliance (ASEQ) will try to convince 40 to 50 bars in the vicinity of schools to be part of the “Command an Angelot” campaign, which will allow people who claim to be victims of sexual violence to ask for Protection of staff using coded language.
The initiative was launched in Montreal on Sunday morning with Hélène David, Minister of Higher Education, and already has at least two members – the Resto Bar La Maisonnee near the Université de Montréal and the Pub University of Laval University.
“I’m pretty confident that the bars on university campuses are going to get into the project for one simple reason: they all care about the safety of their customers. It’s about the company, the bar and the reputation of their establishment, “assured Patrice Allard, Vice-President, Development and Partnerships, ASEQ.
Mr. Allard predicted that the initiative could also extend to other bars in the province. “In no way can we force them to participate, but we will recommend it and eventually it will become a question of competitiveness:” I am a member and I am not “, he stressed .
Minister David has called on student associations to use their influence with these institutions to convince them.
“It becomes an extremely interesting balance of power. If you’re not Angelot, we’re not going to your bar. I do not know if you know how much he can consume beer or other in an evening, “she explained.
The code “Angelot” should be able to be used as of autumn 2017, according to Mr. Allard.
This campaign calls for a protocol to be put in place among bar employees to help women and men who do not feel comfortable and need their help.
The staff of the institutions will be trained by representatives of the ASEQ and the campaign “Sans oui c’est non”, which works on raising awareness about sexual violence in the student environment. The owners will also have to sign a charter that will commit them to respect the protocol.
For example, if a person orders an “ice-free Angelot,” the staff will ensure that they are safe inside the facility and the victim will choose if they want to stay or go. If she asks for a “with ice”, she wants to be escorted outdoors and in this case, employees must ensure that she leaves the bar safely.
Finally, an “Angelot with lime” means that an assault had already taken place, or that the person feels intoxicated by alcohol or rape drug, and that she wants the staff to call the police.
This command could also be done by a loved one.
Mr. Allard argues that such an initiative is important because in these situations, the victim will not need to justify himself or herself to claim protection. As soon as she has ordered her “Angelot”, the employees will act.
“Often when you ask for help, you have to explain why you ask for help. In the case of the Angelot, the Angelot is commanded without having to explain the why of what has happened before, “he explained.
The co-owners of RestoBar La Maisonnée pointed out that servers are already intervening if they notice that one of their clients is uncomfortable, but at least this campaign will provide some supervision.
“It’s already done, we’ve already kept some girls at the bar inside the bar because people were waiting for them outside, we brought people back. It’s already something that is done, but it’s better framed with a code, I think it can just help, “said co-owner Stéphanie Juteau.
“Command an Angelot” is inspired by two campaigns launched in other countries, “Ask Angela” in the United Kingdom and “Angel Shot” in the United States.