The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
For years, women have been warned to keep their drinks close when they’re out and to never let them out of sight just in case someone might try to drug them. Many people, especially men, say this is being almost too cautious. They will ask, “what, do you think I’m going to drug you? I wouldn’t do that.” And most women probably don’t assume that every man will, but the ones that do are often sneaky and don’t seem harmful to the average woman, especially after a couple of drinks. It’s not to say that women should always be on high alert — it just goes to show that women being solely responsible for their safety is impossible. This was a big reason that I and several of my friends never frequented frat parties or those kinds of environments in college.
And it just gets worse. Reports have arisen in the U.K. of women being drugged another way, since we started getting too protective over our drinks. Women across the country have claimed that they were drugged via injection, which is alarming considering we have no real way of protecting ourselves from it. The Guardian reports that a 19-year-old in Nottingham discovered a small pinprick in her leg after she woke up with no memory of her night out at a club. The last thing she could remember was experiencing an intense, sharp pain in her leg. This alarming discovery is not the only one. Other women have reported similar experiences complete with memory lapses and pinpricks.
Police in the U.K. have found it difficult to corroborate these accusations since they have very little evidence and few suspects across all cases that have been reported. They also cite low incidence rates as cause to not worry about it happening, though women know that it’s not a risk to be taken lightly. Students and young adults across the country are banding together to boycott nightclubs and take action. One student in Stirling has gained traction with a petition to advocate for nightclubs to be legally required to complete thorough searches of everyone entering the premises. Since starting the petition, she has received testimony from many women that details incidents of drink spiking, all of which are frightening to read and hear about, however low the incidence rate may be. Various women have reported finding the police very unhelpful and unwilling to do much in the way of investigating, leaving them with absolutely no support from law enforcement. Others have been told to get drug tests and have been turned away by hospitals that won’t inform them of alternative drug testing locations, leaving them unsupported yet again.
While all of this is being reported on in the U.K., it doesn’t take long for word to travel. There’s no reason that incidents of this nature couldn’t begin happening in our own backyard in the future. And even more disappointingly, there isn’t much we can do as women to prevent it. This comes as just another blow to women’s public safety as well as another aspect that we have to push law enforcement to take seriously seeing as our safety already isn’t.