Last year a local bar has created a poster-led campaign, which alerts employees if any first-daters feel uncomfortable during their encounters with online prospects.

Samoan Joe’s Tiki Bar on Spon Street began issuing fake alcoholic Tiki shots that are actually code for a cry for help. The poster that was been distributed online has received tremendous feedback from Coventry locals and businesses in the city centre.

Being new to Coventry, this was my first time hearing about City’s only Hawaiian Aztec inspired bar and I was intrigued as to why this was the best place to meet your online romance for the first time? After a brief visit, it was clear that although celebrity guest incise visitors, the warm and relaxed atmosphere is perfect for an initial encounter. The friendly bartenders, who welcome you with open arms and rum, only add to the already set tones of Samoan Joe’s.

In the second year of running a success campaign, I spoke to the man behind the idea as to what made this specific campaign endure. Marketing manager Rob Hall explained:

“The Campaign is something we came up with to safeguard any customer (male or female) who comes through the (our) doors, that for whatever reason feels uneasy in a situation” He further revealed that “The idea was something we (Samoan Joes) saw another bar do and thought although this is something we’ve never had an issue with why not have measured and training in place should we ever need them”

Online dating has evolved to become the norm for connecting with people across the world. The most popular and currently trending apps for finding love list Tinder and Match at the top of the charts. These enable people to meet like-minded, socially similar and ideal pleasing to the user potential spouses, however we all know that with this comes the common Catfish.

On a quite afternoon at Samoan Joe’s I had the pleasure of talking to full time bartender Jordan Wade, who finds working in a city buzzing bar can be “very unpredictable”. He went on to explain, “I don’t often get to witness awkward moments being so busy, but you can kind of assume what kind of person you’re dealing with when they come to the bar and ask buy a drink”.

The three years trained mixologist said that he has never made any Tiki shots but has had to excuse someone from the bar for aggressive behaviour and that “It’s kind of a relief because you don’t really want a situation to escalate to having to call the police and seeing that those kind of people live round here” but they do don’t they?

Coventry’s rape and sexual abuse centre state that most recent figure from Home Office indicate that 90% of most sexual offences involve a perpetrator known by the victim, or in this case locals. The city of Coventry and the West Midlands have reported over 1700 rapes between 2016 and 17. Having under a 5th taking to court and only 174 convictions.

Jordan ended our conversation with a lightly diluted daiquiri and expressing that “hopefully the campaign has scared the creeps away… that’s why I stick to old fashion dating”

Since this, many other campaigns have been launched to tackle sexual assault across the UK and internationally.


Alexis Carrington


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