26 Apr, 2022 @ 20:00
1 min read

Costa del Sol bar in Spain goes viral with its ‘secret’ codes for women to ask for help

Owner Bar Element
Image from: The Olive Press.

AN expat-run bar in Fuengirola has gone viral after it put up a poster with a ‘secret’ code for women feeling harassed to get help.

But ironically the code words are now going to have to be changed because they are not secret anymore!

Elements bar put up a poster in the women’s toilets with code words to secretly ask for help in case a woman was sexually abused in the bar.

Mark owner of Element bar in Fuengirola. Image from The Olive Press

It read in Spanish ‘Uncomfortable, Do you feel abused or in danger? Is your date not going as planned?’

Mark Vernon, 50, originally from London and owner of the bar said “One of my women bar staff decided to install the poster when a Mexican friend gave it to her.”

What Mark hadn’t bargained for was the poster going viral. Not only has he been submerged in media interview requests (including from the Olive Press!) but the bar has been targeted by several pranksters.

Mark explained: “Yesterday night, a few drunk people phoned us making fun of the whole thing. They were giving the code and ordering a ‘Diana doble’.”

“It is a shame that the poster has gone viral because it was supposed to be a secret code and now we will have to change it,” complained Mark.

The code was that if a woman asked for a Diana doble, the staff would help her to leave the bar safely. For more dangerous situations she would order ‘Diana doble, pero solo’ (Diana doble, but on its own) bar staff would understand that she needed someone to help her to get into her car.

By saying ‘para llevar’, which means for take away, members of the staff would call a taxi and if she said ‘azul’, which means blue, staff would call the police.

A woman who visited the bar saw the poster and reacted by posting on twitter: “I went to a bar in Fuengirola to have a drink with my friend and boyfriend, when I went to the bar I found this amazing thing.”

By saying ‘para llevar’, which means for take away, members of the staff would call a taxi and if she said ‘azul’, which means blue, staff would call the police.


Jorge Hinojosa

Jorge Hinojosa Mena was born and bred in Madrid before moving to the UK to study. After an undergraduate degree in Manchester, he completed an MA in International Journalism at City. He has worked in radio and for Spain’s Efe news agency before joining the Olive Press in March 2022. Contact: Jorge@theolivepress.es

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