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Staying safe: Spiking presents new dangers
So what we need to do is to yell, not speak louder, but yell as loud as we can.
March 6, 2022
First published in the December issue of the print edition of the “Orange R.”
Women have trouble in this world because they are seen as nothing but objects to provide either sexual gratification or simply a clean home. There are some women who enjoy being housewives, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, now that women are starting to speak out about issues they have experienced for decades, there are a few men in this world who don’t want this to happen. I am not writing this article to bash men, but to bring attention to subjects that seem like issues that not everyone is taking seriously.
Women have been the subjects of sex trafficking, rape, and sexual assault for decades. Women are coming together to come up with ways of preventing these things from happening, for example, self-defense weapons. My mom has one in her purse for the above reasons, but I think it’s more of a comfort thing because rape and sexual assault are so common. Now that I’m becoming more independent, I’m thinking about getting a self-defense weapon for these reasons. Putting aside the history of this issue, it has come to my attention that women are now getting spiked by injection. This is a fairly new issue; the cause is thought to be because women are now bringing their own cups with lids to bars, therefore preventing their drinks from getting spiked. In my opinion, it infuriates me that men can’t let women enjoy a night of clubbing.
After I saw a popular creator talk about this issue, I decided to do my own research. Turns out that this started happening in the U.K. There was an interview with a lady from the U.K. who is now one of the many women who are starting boycotts focused on keeping women safe when having a night out. The boycotts are meant to encourage nightclub owners to be more aware that this is happening and take more protective measures. This includes a more thorough search of guests who want to enter the clubs. Some may claim that it’s an invasion of privacy, but it’s really just about keeping not only women safe but men as well. This is concerning because it happens in really crowded areas, and as an underage young woman who happens to look and act mature, I could potentially be injected. A woman did in fact wait to get into a popular nightclub and felt a pinprick in the middle of her back. This woman is Lizzie Wilson from Nottingham, England; she was waiting outside a nightclub with her three friends and she felt a “sharp prick” in the middle of her back. When she was injected, she felt the effects 10 minutes later because the mix of chemicals was directly placed into her bloodstream. Lizzie could hardly stand up and had to be taken to a hospital. She could not feel her legs and was disoriented for many hours.
While writing this article, I had a number of friends and teachers read and share experiences. For example, Doctor Warnock said “ Sadly, this is happening in the U.S. now, too. My oldest daughter and her friends are always on the lookout for each other because it happens so much where she lives.”
As I mentioned before, there are boycotts happening, and one of the more recognizable ones is called “Girls Night In.” The protest suggests that bar owners need to have more precautions. I also mentioned that this happens to men, too. I watched an interview from “Good Morning Britain” that was talking about “Girls Night In,” which had a man whose drink had been spiked talk about how it affected him. Ted and a friend went to a pub that they frequently visit on the weekends when, seemingly all of a sudden, he woke up at 4 p.m. the next day. He had bruises and scratches all over his body. Not only did he not remember anything from the night before, but he awoke to his bedsheets covered in blood and his wallet was missing, along with other personal valuables.
Many people may think that the police aren’t doing anything, but to be honest, they are doing everything they can. People may make bigoted statements about how women’s safety isn’t a priority. Believe me, it is.
My mom is a 911 dispatcher who works closely with police officers. She said, “The police take these kinds of cases very seriously, but they are sometimes limited in what they can do due to the laws. It can be difficult to convict someone of drugging another person when there is not much evidence left to prove it.”
Unfortunately, the evidence is not always there in order to make an arrest. For example, a woman tested positive for HIV after getting injected, but authorities have no way of knowing if she already had HIV or not. Most of the time, the chemicals used to spike drinks are out of the person’s body by the time they report it to the police, so it’s hard to find the perpetrator. Although in one report, a man was found guilty of injecting women–not a surprise because he was previously jailed for the sexual assault of multiple women.
Women are now asking questions like, “do we have to wear armor?” or “how are we going to protect ourselves?” I honestly don’t know how to answer that. Misogynistic men are saying to just stay home, but women should have the privilege to have a night out without having to worry about things like sexual assault or rape. We shouldn’t have to wear an Iron Man suit in order to protect ourselves, although that would be pretty sweet. My point is that women and men shouldn’t have to live in fear; we need to adapt and make these changes ourselves because right now the world is dealing with multiple crises such as Covid and anything involving the government. So what we need to do is to yell, not speak louder, but yell as loud as we can. Otherwise, we may be silent for the rest of our lives.