Women Are Using a Secret Way to Alert Bartenders If They Feel Unsafe

| Mar 9, 2020 | Sex

Women are using a secret way to alert bartenders if they feel unsafe

Let’s establish, right up front, that women’s safety should never be considered ‘women’s work.’ All of us have a responsibility to help prevent sexual violence and harassment, especially in settings like bars which can attract customers who are predators and sleaze-bags and staff who are overworked or untrained.


That said, we at Horowitz Law are encouraged by this news from CNN:

College students who find themselves out on a date gone wrong at bars in southeastern Florida may be able to turn to the bartender for help.

Posters hanging in the restrooms of about a dozen bars and restaurants in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Jupiter give instructions to women about alerting bartenders if they’re in danger or uncomfortable.

First, order a drink called the “Owl Shot.” Then, depending on what’s happening, say one of the three coded phrases displayed on the posters. Based on the code, here’s how the bartenders will respond:

  • ‘Neat’: Bar staff will escort you to your car
  • ‘On the rocks’: Bar staff will call a ride for you
  • ‘With lime’: Bar staff will call the police

More than 10 bars and restaurants have partnered with the Florida Atlantic University Student Government to hang their posters in its restrooms.

The idea came from Florida Atlantic University’s Student Government whose members were brainstorming ways to protect students.

The students came up with the idea over the summer, and then got to work creating the posters and going door-to-door to ask managers of bars and restaurants to join the initiative. Some students even took matters into their own hands to speed things up by bypassing the university’s payment request process and simply putting up the money themselves, Rodriguez said.

And they’re not stopping there. Students hope to eventually see their posters in every bar and restaurant in the area.

We’re always excited by almost any potentially helpful new prevention tool, especially one that

–helps enlist others (often called bystanders) and

–reminds/encourages potentially vulnerable people to pay attention and act on their feelings and suspicions BEFORE more harm happens.