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A new epidemic: the rise in spiking incidents forces women to extreme precautions and mobilise

Women are reporting spiking episodes all over the UK, including in Aberdeen clubs and bars.

By Michael Bryce

Courtesy of Rondel Melling via Pixabay

Spiking is not a new phenomenon - it is something that many students, predominantly women, are always vigilant against on a night out.

It is not something that is restricted to Fresher’s Week only but rather a common occurrence in Aberdeen’s city centre.

Recent posts on social media, mainly on the Abercrush Facebook page and Twitter, have had people come forward with their experiences of spiking.

Student awareness groups such as Girls Night In, have also spread the word about this important nationwide issue.

One anonymous poster on Abercrush highlighted their experience of being spiked via needle injection while on a night out, saying that:

“I just want to make everyone aware that on Friday night I was spiked while out via injection and just want to make everyone aware that it is happening. if it does happen to you, PLEASE get medical help as soon as possible and remember it is NOT your fault.”

The response to the post was largely positive, with many people being supportive of the anonymous submitter, however, a very small minority believed that the post was for ‘clout.’

The administrators of the Facebook page themselves made an announcement regarding the post, supporting its anonymous submitter, believing that “all potential victims should be taken at face value and it is not our position to judge without cause”.

They went further saying: “This does not mean that people need to share this viewpoint, but we feel that challenging people with no basis is reprehensible and demonstrates exactly why some victims choose not to come forward.”

Girls Night In, a student campaign that has been launched in response to the online posts about spiking, did not originate in Aberdeen but has now become a nationwide endeavour. It calls for a boycott of nightclubs in an effort to push them to do more to prevent spikings.

The Aberdeen boycott of nightclubs will take place on Thursday, 28 October and encourages everyone to partake.

In Aberdeen, a report has been made to the Police about an allegation of spiking by injection that occurred in the city centre, after a post was shared on Twitter.

Speaking to The Gaudie, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: "We are making enquiries into a drug spiking incident, reported to have occurred on Friday, 15 October, at premises in Aberdeen City Centre. Our enquiries are at an early stage.”

"We would advise members of the public to report any concerns to venue staff where appropriate, or directly to our officers.”

"Incidents of this nature will always be taken seriously and anyone with information should call Police Scotland on 101 immediately so we can secure evidence and begin investigations."

The Gaudie contacted several bars and clubs that are popular with students to ask what they are doing to tackle the problem of spikings. As of the time of publishing, none have responded to our request for comment.

A recent petition to the UK Parliament is pushing for nightclubs to do more to tackle the problems of violence and spikings.

The petition asks that nightclubs be legally required to search guests on entry to prevent both date-rape drugs and weapons from being used in clubs.

As of writing, the petition has 136,372 signatures, well over the number of signatures required for it to be considered for debate by MPs in Parliament.

In an email to students, AUSA has said it is currently working on a campaign “that will ensure students are safe on campus, in public places and venues, spiking and sexual assault incidents are reduced to an absolute minimum, and students receive the support they deserve from the Uni and AUSA”. The details of this campaign are to be shared soon.

If you or anyone you know has been affected by spiking, CASE Aberdeen has a wide number of resources to signpost to help those in need.

Additionally, you can contact Rape Crisis Scotland on 08088 010302 and Rape Crisis Grampian on 01224 590532.


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