Cristina Garcia Married| Salamanca (EFE)
«I am already talking about it with the Junta de Castilla y León, so that we define a protocol similar to the one they used in that case and the password ‘Ángela’. We feel more supported if we do it with the Board than on our own,” Jorge Carlos Moro, president of the city’s Association of Hotel Businessmen, explained to Efe.
The password “Angela” was promoted by entertainment venues in the United Kingdom so that women who suffer or fear an attack can alert the nightclub staff without their stalker noticing, and the security protocol is activated.
The rapid reaction of the security of the Sutton nightclub to the alleged rape attributed to Dani Alves has revealed the crucial role of protocols against sexual violence in nightclubs, which include everything from training workers to the use of the password “Ángela” to ask for help.
In Salamanca, a city that receives thousands of university students from the age of 17, there is no key like “Ask for Ángela” and the way to alert them to a risk situation is to speak directly with the local staff.
«If the Administration participates it will be much better. Now what we have is above all access control with the doormen, who are the people who usually go, they are the protection of the people in any problematic situation, “explained Moro.
Smaller, more concentrated locations
The nightlife in Salamanca has some particularities that distinguish it from that of cities like Barcelona: there is a lot of partying but the city is small and “95% of the venues” are concentrated in the old town, estimated Manuel Herrero, head of nightlife in hoteliers association.
“Here people usually go to several bars in one night, the venues are smaller, they are all close, the streets are very busy, which makes it a quieter and safer place,” said the businessman, who has two bars with a capacity of around 100 people, the most common at night in the city.
When a risk situation occurs in their establishments, customers can go to any worker and the doormen intervene. “We do not have a password, the doorman separates the person in question and we call a number authorized by the National Police for these cases,” he explained.
At the door of the premises you can see posters with information about the rights that a victim has in the face of a sexual assault and the steps that must be taken. “This is important to avoid fear and that they know that they can count on us,” Herrero considered.
Waiters and doormen, key people in nightlife in Salamanca
Patricia García is 22 years old and a few months ago she started working as a waitress in one of the Herrero stores. She remembers a recent situation in which she had to help some girls, but she also felt fear herself.
«Some girls of about 17 years old came to tell me at the bar that a man was taking photos of them and was scolding them. As they told me that he was also taking photos of me, I didn’t know what to do and I went to the goalkeeper, who kicked him out,” he told EFE.
García has highlighted “the sisterhood between women” in these cases: “We help each other a lot, if I see a girl crying I go to her and ask her what happened, here the closeness means that everything can be solved directly and immediately”, has said.
«I have gone out a lot since I was very little and what has helped me the most when a man gets annoying is always being with my friends. And now I feel very supported by my colleagues. Here it helps a lot that in the end we all know each other », she concluded. EFE