Drink Spiking

A Statement Against Drink-Spiking  

Written by Kerrie Draghi Higher Education Ambassador of Our Streets Now 

 

Trigger warnings: drink-spiking, violence against women, sexual harassment, sexual violence, alcohol, and substance misuse. 

Students at London Met may be aware of the recent reports of drink-spiking happening in pubs, bars, and nightclubs across the UK. Here at London Met, your SU Officers and higher education ambassador, Kerrie Draghi, promises to do everything we can to keep students safe on nights out and support anyone who has experienced spiking or any other form of gender-based violence. 

What is spiking and who does it affect? 

Drink-spiking is usually defined as the process of “putting alcohol or drugs into someone’s drink(s) without their permission.” However, this definition does not include the use of needles to inject another person with. Spiking can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, but it is a crime usually committed against women and should be considered as part of the larger cultural problem of male violence against women. With this in mind, it’s important to place the blame on the perpetrator, not the victim. 

The responsibility should not be on us to stay vigilant, watch our drinks and keep to large groups on nights-out. We deserve to enjoy ourselves on a night out without being fearful of what might happen to us. A larger, cultural change is needed if we are to solve the problem of male violence against women. 

We should also acknowledge that marginalised groups such as members of the LGBTQIA+ community and people of colour are much more likely to experience harassment in public spaces and less likely to feel safe reporting their experiences to the police or other organisations. More information about racist and homophobic public sexual harassment can be found here

What are the signs of someone who’s been spiked? 

  • Unconsciousness/Blackouts 
  • Vomiting/Nausea 
  • Short-term memory loss 
  • Confusion/Disorientation 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Altered perception of time 
  • Loss of feeling in the body 

As this behaviour can often be mistaken for drunkenness, it’s important to look out for someone who seems unusually confused on a night out. 

How can I help someone who has been spiked? 

According to the anti-spiking campaign I’ve Been Spiked, you should: 

  • Stay alert and keep talking to them 
  • Alert a member of staff and/or security 
  • Seek medical help - call 999 immediately  
  • Find a safe place where another trusted person can find you 
  • Make sure they get home safe and with someone you both know and trust 
  • Try to prevent them from drinking any more alcohol as this could worsen the problem 
  • Keep a close eye on the person who may have been spiked and monitor their condition. 

What is being done at London Met to ensure students’ safety? 

Your women’s officer, Mim Hossain, and Higher Education Ambassador, Kerrie Draghi are currently working on numerous campaigns and events to raise awareness for the different forms of VAWG. These will be posted on the SU website ASAP. 

  • Ask for Angela scheme has been implemented in the Rocket Bar and all staff members have been given Welfare and Vulnerability Training. 
  • First Aid Training – senior bar management are fully trained and The Rocket is looking into getting all staff members trained. 
  • Stop Topps bottle stops and foil cup covers have been ordered and will be available for free to anyone who requests one at the bar. 

Relevant support services 

Holloway

Harglenis Building

166-220 Holloway Road

London, UK

N7 8DB

United Kingdom



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Complaints

Aldgate

CMG-20

Old Castle Street

London, UK

E1 7NT

United Kingdom

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020 7133 4171 - The Student Union Reception Desk and telephone line at Holloway Campus is open – Monday to Friday from 10am to 4.30pm (times vary during holiday periods). Outside of these hours and during busy periods please email studentsunion@londonmet.ac.uk