The Spiking Epidemic

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by BA(Hons) English Literature with Writing student.

I was eight when I first experienced a form of sexual assault.

Eight.

I was fourteen when I experienced my next form of assault. I was walking back home with a group of similarly aged friends when a man stopped us on the street in broad daylight and took out his penis in front of us.

Fourteen.

Since then I have experienced countless amounts of catcalls, gross comments and awkward touches. Most of them have been in broad daylight with groups of people around. None of them would say anything, even fewer would blink an eye.

Approximately one in five young women and girls will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, while one in twenty men will be abused once in their life. Yet our judicial system, one who claims to stand and support survivors of assault, is failing us. Only one in one hundred cases in 2021 were recorded by police, with most cases tucked away to be forgotten about (Rapecrisis.org).

This topic, one so taboo, is also a growing epidemic. British drinking and clubbing culture has led to an increase in spiking cases, so how can we stop this from escalating further?  

Some ways that you can prevent spiking in the case of you or your friends include:

  1. Always buy your own drink and watch it get poured
  2. Never leave your drink unattended or in the presence of strangers 
  3. Go to clubs with groups of friends or people that you trust
  4. Make sure to go to places in pairs, never leave to places alone or with people you don’t know
  5. Cover your drinks! 

Following these tips can help in preventing instances of spiking but, if you do believe you or a friend has been spiked, go to a trusted friend or family member that can take you to safety and call 999 to report it as soon as possible.

Rapecrisis.org also offer a support helpline, available Monday – Thursday: 13:00 – 17:00, 18:00 – 21:00 and Friday: 14:00 – 17:00. Call 0808 802 9999 or chat to them online.

Sources:

“Statistics about Sexual Violence and Abuse.” Rape Crisis England & Wales, rapecrisis.org.uk/get-informed/statistics-sexual-violence/.

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