On Wednesday, young women across the UK boycotted clubs and bars in solidarity with a “Girls Night In” campaign in response to the spiking of drinks and needle injections that were reported by many university students. A number of accounts in different British cities organized boycotts via Instagram under the name “Girls Night In.” The boycotts are an attempt to demand action from the government and nightclubs to prevent date rape drugs from coming into clubs. Furthermore, the purpose was to raise awareness on the issue of women’s safety and to emphasize that no one should feel unsafe and cautious when going out to have fun with their friends.
According to The National Police Chief’s Council, since September, there have been hundreds of drink spiking reports and people being drugged by random needle injections. The Guardian reported that women would feel a sharp pinprick-like pain in their back or legs at the clubs and would soon after blackout and be unable to recall anything the next day. Reports have also been coming from Scotland, Wales, England, and Northern Ireland.
As the movement began to gain thousands of followers on social media, many students began expressing their feelings of frustration because of how much the drink spikings had increased over the past couple of months. Organizers of the campaign hoped that the movement would help lessen the amount of fear and anxiety women face because of the possibility of being drugged. They also sought to emphasize that women should be allowed to go out without having any fear of harm.
The movement’s organizers believe there should be more security checks before entry, clubs should provide lids for drinks, and trained staff and welfare officers to make sure that those who are too weak or vulnerable to be on their own get home safely. The boycotts were made up of students coming together for a night of board games at a local participating pub, or movie nights organized at different universities. Students have also shown up at separate locations with banners and signs in support of the movement.
‘Girls Night In’ was a successful movement that gave young women a voice and empowered them to come together demanding justice, and proper action to be taken by the government. Additionally, an online petition was created calling for the UK government to conduct thorough searches at every entry at clubs a legal requirement, which has now surpassed over 170,000 signatures. In light of this, parliament will now take up the issue for a debate, which means that the boycotts had a greater impact, and the fight isn’t over yet.