The Angel Shot Code
Sexual Assault Prevention and Bystander Intervention in Bars and Restaurants
Women deserve to feel safe in public spaces.
1 in 3 women experience unwanted sexual behaviour in public. Restaurants and bars are the most common public place where serious incidents of sexual violence and harassment take place . Many women may hesitate to speak up or doubt themselves when they feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Enough is enough.
That is why the NSWC is piloting the Angel Shot Code campaign to empower women to seek help, increase bystander intervention, and prevent sexual assault in bars and restaurants.
What is the Angel Shot Code?
The Angel Shot is a code phrase that can be used in bars and restaurants to alert staff that you feel unsafe, need help, or are in danger. The Angel Shot is not a real drink, or a real order. It is a way to discreetly let people know that you need help.
The Angel Shot Code has been circulating the internet worldwide for years, and has an unknown origin. Some have suggested its affiliation with the popular #AskForAngela campaign in the UK, a similar code phrase that allows patrons to seek help before a situation escalates to harassment or violence.
The North Shore Women's Centre did not invent the Angel Shot Code, but have created a poster and training campaign in the North Shore to raise awareness for the code, equip bar and restaurant staff to intervene when patrons are unsafe, and to reduce instances of gender-based violence. We are firmly committed to making North Vancouver a safer and more equitable place, where women and gender-diverse folks can live free of violence. The pilot project will begin in 2023.
Did you find this page by scanning our poster's QR code? Do you need help? Please see the below resources:
Are you in immediate danger, or do you need to report a completed or attempted crime?
If you need immediate emergency help, please contact 911
If you do not need immediate emergency help but would still like to make a police report or seek other formal services, please contact:
- West Vancouver Police Department Non-Emergency: 604-925-7300
- North Vancouver RCMP Non-Emergency: 604-985-1311
- Crime Victim Assistance Program: 1-866-660-3888 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- HealthLinkBC: 811
If you need medical attention following an instance of sexual or gender-based violence, please contact:
- Vancouver General Hospital Sexual Assault Service, Phone: (604) 875-2881
If you would like to speak with a rape crisis worker, crisis services worker, victim services worker, or need emotional support following an instance of sexual or gender-based violence, please contact:
- Family Services North Shore's Sexual Assault Response Program 24/7 Support Line: 604-924-7676
- WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre 24-Hour Crisis and Information Line: 604-255-6344
- VictimLink BC: Call 1-800-563-0808 | text 604 836-6381 | email VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca
If you would like to read about your options for seeking help and support after an instance of sexual or gender-based violence, please visit:
-Help Starts Here: Information on Sexual Assault
If you have been targeted by sexual or gender-based violence, it is not your fault, and reporting it is your choice. For more resources on sexual assault, rape, and other forms of gender-based violence, visit the North Shore Women's Centre at 131 East 2nd Street, North Vancouver.
A 3-pronged approach
About the NSWC's initiative
The NSWC has created a poster campaign to be put by participating bars and restaurants in their Women's washrooms. The poster explains what the Angel Shot is, how to use the code, and provides further affirmation and resources.
1. The poster
After the pilot program for the Angel Shot Code has been successfully implemented, the NSWC will administer a series of follow-up efforts to measure the efficacy of the initiative. We will then share the results and engage the community in discussions of the continuation of the program.
3. Measuring Efficacy
Next, we created a trauma-informed information booklet for participating bars and restaurants. This booklet offers information on sexual violence in Canada, how to respond to a patron who orders an Angel Shot, and provides resources for staff and patrons.
2. The booklet
Are you a participating establishment who has run out of posters? Download the NSWC's materials today!
Want to register your establishment to participate in the pilot project? Get in touch.
Want to support the initiative?