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spiked

Spiked and they couldn’t care less

On the night of Friday 18th February, Tiger and Beau found themselves in a situation which would be many girls’ worst nightmare: one of them had been spiked and left outside a nightclub, The Waterfront Norwich. A cold Friday night they would not forget, the girls were in dire need for help they never received.

The night had begun like any other. Tiger and Beau were upstairs in the nightclub, before deciding to head downstairs for a cigarette. Tiger recalled earlier that night, there had been trouble with a guy in the line, who had decided to start “mouthing off” at her. Whilst this had been going on, Beau sat with someone she didn’t recognise, who had brought her a drink. What she didn’t realise then, was that she’d just been spiked for the second time at The Waterfront. 

Knowing that something felt wrong, Beau turned to security for help. Tiger described that she “felt off” but they just brushed her off. When she came back to her friend, Beau collapsed. As she was lying helplessly on the ground, security “came up and dragged her out by her feet and arms”. Once outside, Beau started fitting. All the while, the man who they strongly believed drugged her, was allowed to join them. 

As her friend, Beau convulsed in Tiger’s lap, they were told by security that they’d call a manager, ambulance and the police. “I soon realised that wasn’t going to happen, so I started filming.” Tiger admitted. Her video, which was uploaded to the popular video app TikTok, garnered thousands of views within 24 hours – showing several security staff watching and even smiling as Beau incoherently called out in fear from her friend’s lap. 

When Tiger called 999 on her own phone, she was told there would be a 90-minute wait for an ambulance. Deciding a taxi would be the best route to safety, with security long gone, the girls continued to wait outside in the cold. Yet, Tiger noticed the suspected spiker had stuck around. The man was attempting to take videos of Beau’s cleavage with his phone. 

“We were terrified. No one would help us.” Tiger told, recalling the night in great detail. 

After trying to get the man to leave, they managed to stumble away, only for him to follow them. “He was waiting at the end of the road for us.” Luckily, Tiger and Beau were saved by the taxi. Their night of horror had finally come to an end. 

According to Tiger, “Beau is doing fine now – apart from a few bruises.” When asked if they’d ever go back, Tiger replied: “We would never go back and would advise no one else go back either. If that had happened to anyone else and they had got thrown out, that person could die.”

“There could be deaths because of it.” 

The effects of spiking can quickly take hold, and with a number of similar symptoms can very easily be confused with intoxication (being drunk). According to a YouGov survey, as many as 1 in 9 women (11%) say that they have been spiked, with men coming in at 6%. So, why are pubs and clubs not being more vigilant at spotting the signs of spiking? Why is spiking not being taken seriously?

The New Feminist reached out to Waterfront Norwich for a comment on the incident. The venue has issued this statement: 

“We are aware of a video being circulated of an incident on Friday night which a few customers have been in touch with us about. Please be assured an investigation is taking place, we are working with the authorities and together we will be reviewing all the evidence. Safety, whilst enjoying a good night out is and always has been our priority.” 

“Our staff are trained to act in the best interest of safety and on the night both ambulance and police services attended at our request.” 

Unfortunately, this is only one in a string of cases recently where women have been spiked and consequently thrown out onto the streets without any assistance, expected to fend for themselves. Often, they are mistaken for being intoxicated and their perpetrators are then free to go on to spike others.

Ask Angela is a scheme in place in which if you feel unsafe or unwell, you can ask for Angela at the bar and help will be provided- whether that’s calling a taxi, an ambulance, or even help to escort you or the perpetrator off the premises. Alternatively, you can ask for an Angel Shot and similar steps will be taken. 

However, is this really enough to keep women safe? When there are cases of spiking, the responsibility tends to be placed on the woman for not keeping herself safe enough, drinking too much, or even what she was wearing. Rather than targeting the men committing these crimes, who consistently get away with it time after time. 

Currently, there is little in place to prevent spiking and it does not seem likely that the Government are going to change this anytime soon. There are several petitions calling for stricter spiking prevention measures in clubs, bars and pubs, but so far have been rejected or have not made been discussed in parliament yet. Every woman has a right to feel safe whilst on a night out, especially with the spikedemic that has put us in a chokehold since COVID-19.

Comments

  • Dr B
    March 31, 2022

    More stories like this should be reported in all the National papers

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