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KU students join #GirlsNightIn to conquer nightclub spiking fears

KU students join #GirlsNightIn in response to nightclub spiking fears

An increase in drink-spiking in nightclubs as well as reports of needle spiking has left KU students concerned about their safety on nights out.

According to the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), there have been around 140 reports of spiking in September and October, however, the true figure is likely much higher as many of these incidents go

Additionally, there have been around 24 reports of needle spiking where clubbers say they have been injected with an unknown substance
without their knowledge or consent. This has mainly affected female students.

Although bag searches and security checks are commonplace in clubs, students are outraged that drugs and injections are somehow still being smuggled into these events and used for spiking.

A KU student who was spiked in The Viper Rooms in 2019, a popular club in Kingston that has since closed down, agrees that clubs should be “more proactive with any claim of spiking” as well as thoroughly bag and
body searching people on entry.

The KU student who wished to remain anonymous said: “I don’t know how I was spiked, who spiked me or what I was spiked with. The main thing I remember is that I went from being drunk to absolutely

“I found someone that worked at the club and tried to tell them what happened but I’m not sure how coherent I was being because they just sent me home. I tried to ring an ambulance but as I had only just moved
to Kingston, I couldn’t give them my location so I got an Uber back to my halls.

“I collapsed in the kitchen so my housemates rang an ambulance and I was taken to hospital because I was losing consciousness and my heart rate was too high. 

"I spent the rest of the night in A&E but I wasn’t told
what I was spiked with because apparently, Kingston Hospital didn’t have the lab equipment to run the tests.”

When asked about the general safety of Kingston’s night scene the student said: “I don’t think Kingston has a good reputation... the sexual violence women experience is appalling.

"I could ask any of my friends
that have been clubbing in Kingston and they could recite some form of sexual assault. 

'"Almost 100% of the time it is being committed by men
and this needs to be addressed.”

To ensure that nightclubs are effectively tackling this issue the student suggested that these venues should have anti-spiking glasses for drinks or ways of testing your drink if you think it has been spiked.

In retaliation to the increase in spikings, students all over the UK have organised a peaceful protest in an attempt to get clubs to take their safety more seriously. 

The movement, called Girls Night In, encouraged
everyone to boycott clubs on October 27. Instagram accounts from towns and cities all over the UK, particularly in student hotspots have been created to help spread the word to remind clubbers to stay at home on the protest day along with posting protection
and welfare advice.

KU student Grace runs @girlsnightin_kingston on Instagram, spreading the word to Kingston’s student population about the nationwide movement. 

The account has amassed more than 100 supporters in a
week on Instagram.

When asked about the importance of Girls Night In, she said: “It is to make a stand for everyone’s safety when going out, not just girls. 

"Many face dangers when going out from spiking drinks, sexual assault and now getting injected with an unknown substance. 

"This is to make a statement against clubs to take our safety seriously. As a girl, I don't feel safe going out. 

"I’ve had to ‘learn the appropriate
rules’ when going out like making sure you have your phone, having a friend close and letting people know where you are at all times. It’s

Girls Night In aims to open a discussion about the welfare and safety of students in clubs. “We want better security checks, more qualified medicals and appropriate training for nightclub staff on how to spot if
someone is in danger,” said Grace.

In response to the recent discussion about club safety, Przym Kingston, one of the most popular clubs for KU students, has a new poster at its doors saying ‘We care’.

The poster details all the safety measures in place to protect partygoers such as taxi escorting, free phone charging and protective drink covers.

However many feel that a further collective effort is needed to ensure that everyone attending these venues feel safe. 

A petition for nightclubs to rigorously search guests started by Hannah Thomson has passed the
threshold of 100,000 signatures, meaning Parliament must debate this topic.

How to recognise drink spiking

Common symptoms of spiking include vomiting, breathing difficulties, slurred speech, hallucinations and losing consciousness.

Some indicators your drink may have been spiked include it looking

This could be a foggy appearance, change of colour, unusually bubbly or ice sinking instead of floating. 

Additionally, it may have a salty or bitter taste.

If you notice anything atypical with your drink or show any symptoms of being spiked, you should immediately go to a place of safety. 

You should also tell the staff of the venue that you suspect you have been spiked and report to the police. If you feel very sleepy, have hallucinations, vomit or your condition deteriorates you should go to A&E immediately.

How to recognise needle spiking
Along with the symptoms of drink spiking, if you feel a needle prick or can see an injection site on your body you should follow these steps immediately.

The wound should be cleaned gently with warm soapy water and clean hands to sterilise it and covered with a dressing to prevent infection.

Additionally, you should go to a sexual health clinic or A&E immediately as there is a risk of HIV and hepatitis, especially if the needle has been