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Nightclub boycotts planned as women report being spiked by injection

Police forces are investigating yet another harrowing setback in the fight for improved female safety across the UK.

Despite several high-profile and public cases of violence toward women this year – namely the deaths of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa among many others – female safety remains in jeopardy across the UK.

The Home Secretary has focused on crime prevention initiatives in response to growing concern, while the Met Office has attempted to introduce ‘identity verification steps’ for lone police officers. Neither have gone down well with an understandably worried British public.

Now, as tensions remain high, women are coming forward with stories and reports that they’ve been spiked by injection.

Across the country, over twenty women have detailed their experiences. Several recall feeling scratching sensations before blacking out and waking up the next morning to find puncture wounds on their arms, legs, or lower backs.

‘The injection left me unable to walk without the help of someone else and I could barely string a sentence together. Thankfully I was not alone and had a friend with me,’ tweeted one victim. ‘Posting for awareness as I stupidly didn’t think this would ever happen to me.’

Terrified' women describe blackouts and sickness after suspected spiked needle attacks | UK News | Sky News

Though specific allegations have not yet been verified, experts are urging caution and social media is calling for action to be taken.

It seems that even in 2021 women cannot go out in public without worrying about potential sexual assault – or worse – as well as other life-threatening consequences such as contracting HIV or hepatitis from dirty needles.

Responding to this newfound threat, Priti Patel has asked the UK police force for an urgent update on their investigation into a method of drugging women that’s ‘distinctly different to anything they’ve ever seen before.’

Her intervention follows the arrest of a 20-year-old man in Nottingham on suspicion of administering poison with intent to injure.

‘This awful crime needs to be clamped down on without delay,’ she said in a statement. ‘I am keen to ensure that people, particularly women, are able to enjoy themselves without fear.’

Needle spiking: Everything we know after women targeted in nightclubs | Metro News

But given the outrage sparked over Patel’s recent ‘messy’ proposal to provide GPS tracking systems rather than confronting the core reason women are unsafe in the first place, apprehension towards her promises is not surprising.

It’s for this reason that a petition calling for compulsory searches at nightclubs has been signed by more than 160,000 people.

‘We would like the UK Government to make it law for nightclubs to search guests on arrival and prevent harmful weapons and other items entering the establishment,’ says its instigator, Hannah Thompson.

‘This could be a pat down search or metal detector but must involve measures being put in place to ensure the safety of the public.’

In addition, students from 50 universities have joined an online campaign dubbed Girls Night In to boycott nightclubs (by staying at home and refusing to attend them) until the situation is taken as seriously as it most certainly should be.

The campaign is intended to show ‘the power women hold’ in swaying the nightclub industry, and to highlight its dependency on female customers feeling safe.

The movement also seeks to put pressure on venues to enforce better prevention measures, break the stigma surrounding women ‘getting too drunk,’ and hopefully encourage schools to incorporate what happens when you’re spiked and what to do after into their sex education curriculum.

Unfortunately, despite the importance of Hannah’s petition and the ‘Girls Night In’ campaign, both serve as examples of women being forced to ensure their own safety where establishments and institutions have ultimately failed them.

Women around the UK continue to question why they’re repeatedly told to educate themselves on how not to be a target and are instructed to modify behaviours in order to circumvent worst-case scenarios. Why should the responsibility fall on women when it is the duty of society at large to change the status-quo and create an environment in which everyone is safe?

I feel it necessary to repeat what we’ve said time and time again. The only way to change this narrative once and for all is for people to look inwardly. Without safety there can be no equality.

 

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