Young women at universities throughout the UK have organised a boycott of nightclubs and bars in response to recent spiking incidents throughout the country.
Spiking is where a drug is given to a victim (usually female) whilst on a night out, either to cause harm, or incapacitate them in order to commit sexual assault.
This has long been a problem, particularly in university towns, with very little being done to tackle the problem. Often perpetrators will distract women in conversation, whilst pouring a drug into their drink without their knowledge.
A recent incident in Bristol was caught on video, with two men being arrested for their actions. Luckily the victim was taken home by her friend when she felt unwell, and has fully recovered.
Man caught on camera allegedly spiking a young ladies drink. ? Happened in Bristol, Pryzm. Thankfully her friend was able to take her home when she began to feel unwell. pic.twitter.com/GtZwPj7AHH
— London & UK Street News (@CrimeLdn) September 30, 2021
Many women have been sharing their experiences online in recent days, with shocking numbers of women having either personally experienced or knowing many victims of spiking
Last week, Durham University Students Union caused outrage for a post that encouraged women to not get spiked, suggesting that women were at fault for spiking, rather than the perpetrators.
Their post came amid reports that spikers are now directly injecting drugs into women, many young women across university campuses have organised a boycott, demanding action be taken.
We've created a live list (https://t.co/boPXKQED6R) of all of the current GirlsNightIn Groups and upcoming boycotts dates. Below is our most up to date list. All of the groups can be contacted via Instagram. pic.twitter.com/ZYKaW3ZARP
— Not On My Campus UK #BuildTrustNotSilence (@NotOnMyCampusUK) October 19, 2021
The boycotts are mostly taking place on the 27th and 28th October and are encouraging people, particularly women, to stay at home instead of going out. The organisers hope that this will lead to venues taking stricter action; many demand tighter searches be conducted on people entering nightclubs, particularly amid the reports of needles being used.
Some women speaking out their experiences on Twitter have said that they are wearing denim, or other thick clothes on nights out in order to offer some protection against needles.
It has been reported that a man has been arrested in Nottingham over an alleged spiking involving a needle, whilst the police are investigating other incidents throughout the United Kingdom.
The #GirlsNightIn boycott is believed to have been started by a group of young women at Edinburgh University, but has been quickly replicated across the United Kingdom to raise awareness of the latest threat to women’s safety.
If you wish to take part in the boycott, find your nearest #GirlsNightIn group on Instagram or on Twitter for more information.
If you have been affected by any of the themes in this article, there are a number of charities and organisations who can offer support.