Unlocking the Power of Code Words and Gestures: A Guide to Seeking Help Discretely in Uncomfortable Situations
Did you ever end up in an unpleasant situation where you wanted to ask for help (discretely) but didn’t know how? Read about discreet distress signals here.
‘Two Angel Shots and a Martini, please!’
Imagine being in a club where you agreed to meet a Tinder date. You have been chatting for weeks and he seems to be a super fun guy. Suddenly the guy in question appears but doesn’t look anything like his photographs. You decide to give it a chance anyhow because he may just have a great character. Far from it; as you will find out a short while later…
He is coming on too strong and you feel anything but comfortable in his company. He keeps on pushing you to go home with him and even grabs hold of your arm and starts pulling you in the direction of the exit. Help!
This action is what can save you from an awkward situation; walk confidently in the direction of the bar. Ask the bartender for an Angel Shot. If organised well, the employees in this club have received training. They will not start looking for an Angel Shot ingredient list, totally confused, but know instead that you immediately require help!
Never feel ashamed when asking for help. This type of harassment occurs more often than you would think. Of all the women, 97% have experienced sexual intimidation, have been catcalled or grabbed. It is not your fault. Not even if you were first enjoying some flirting or look like a million bucks. Remember that you can order an Angel Shot internationally, or that you can ask for Angela whenever someone bothers you in a bar. And, when in Germany, that you can ask the bartender ‘Is Luisa here?’.
When you ask for an Angel Shot, the bartender or doorkeeper will accompany you outside and stay with you until the situation is safe again. When you ask for an Angel Shot with ice, the employee will arrange for a taxi or Uber to help you get home safely. A shot with lime means that they will immediately call the police for you.
Never hesitate, ask for an Angel Shot straight away. Again: Never feel ashamed about it as in these kinds of situations it is always best to rather be safe than sorry.
A silent albeit very loud call
Have you recently heard the story about the 16-year-old girl who was abducted but was saved thanks to TikTok? The girl was held in the back of a strange car and instead of just submissively meeting her fate, the thought of a gesture she saw in a TikTok video came to mind. She remembered that it was a gesture you can make if you want to ask for help discretely without using any words. So, she decided to make this gesture to a passing biker, in the good hope that this biker would know what the gesture meant. The biker recognised the gesture and took immediate action. He passed the license plate number of the car on to the police and it didn’t take long before the girl was rescued from the abductor’s claws.
The gesture that saved the life of this girl and could also save your life, looks as follows; you open your hand and aim your palm in the direction of the viewer. You then place your thumb on the inside of the palm. Then, you fold your fingers over the thumb, touching the palm.
If you see someone making this gesture at you, don’t hesitate but rush to their aid. Your action could be of vital importance.
You can make the same gesture in a different situation, when confronted with domestic violence, for example. You are in a zoom meeting with your colleagues and make this gesture. Hopefully a colleague will have read this blog post and recognises the gesture, and gets you the required help.
Covid-19 masks are a thing of the past, aren’t they?
I’m at the pharmacy and there is a shy woman in front of me shivering nervously. The pharmacist asks what he can do for her. The woman softly, but quite determinedly, says: ‘Could I have a mask 19, please?’
A mask 19? Surprised, I look at the other customers in the pharmacy who look back at me rather concerned instead of surprised. We don’t have to wear masks anymore, do we? I’m thinking.
The pharmacist asks the woman to come with him. A bit later I hear him making a phone call. What is going on? Still confused, I’m unlocking my bicycle a bit later on when one of the customers who was also there, walks towards me.
‘I noticed the way you looked when the woman asked for a mask 19,’ he says. ‘Let me quickly explain what it means, because it may also help you sometime during your life. Hopefully you won’t need it, but you never know.’
Apparently and in addition to the abovementioned gesture, women can also use the code word Mask 19 in the pharmacy, medical practice or hospital when they are the victim of domestic violence.
The code word Mask 19 was called into being to help victims who cannot make distress calls from their own homes.
You can also be someone’s hero
It would be an absolute shame if you would work in a bar, someone would order an Angel Shot and you would leave the bar to check in some backroom how to make an Angel Shot on your mobile phone.
Or when you are wondering why that girl in the club is so eager for her Angel Shot resulting in you ordering one for yourself, to then be surprised if the bartender starts escorting you outside and gets you an Uber to go home.
It’s about time that the signals become known and that these silent cries for help are spread, so that everyone can recognise them if they are used and everyone knows how to ask for help themselves.
Code words are more important than ever before in exceptional situations, such as the Covid-19 crisis, where we had less social contact. A good initiative can be useful, but diligently promoting it is crucial for its success.
Help spread this information and save a life!