Following widespread reports of spiking across UK nightlife venues, ‘Girls Night In’ groups across the country – including here in Southampton – called for a boycott of clubs for Wednesday 27th October.
The ‘Girls Night In’ movement has gained support in more than 50 cities across the UK, with the aim of increasing awareness of spiking. The National Police Chief’s Council revealed last week that in the last two months, 198 cases of spiking have been reported to police forces across the UK. Furthermore, Home Secretary Priti Patel has called for police to assess the scale of the injection spiking crisis which is being widely reported across social media.
‘Girls Night In’ groups are calling for measures to be put in place to protect club-goers from spiking. These include anti-tampering devices such as bottle toppers and covers to go over glasses, availability of drink testing kits, increased training for nightclub staff and the ability to search people upon entry to venues. There are also calls for university student unions to provide active bystander training to students so that they know what to do in response to spiking, sexual harassment and hate crimes, and for increased funding of welfare provisions for those who have experienced this.
In order to put pressure on the nightlife industry to do this, people have been encouraged to boycott clubs. The date for the ‘Girls Night In’ varies from city to city, but here at the University of Southampton, the Consent Awareness and Sexual Health Education Society (UoS CASHES) called for non-sports societies to cancel club socials on Friday 22nd October, while sports societies were asked to boycott clubs yesterday, 27th October.
To find out more, visit @sotoncashes on Instagram, and tune in to their interview with BBC South Today which was broadcast at 6:30 pm yesterday. SUSU President Ben Dolbear was on ITV Meridian at 6pm yesterday to discuss the Students’ Union’s work on student safety and spiking. Both are available to watch on catch-up here and here