Hundreds of women in the UK have had their drink spiked in the past few months, however, there appears to be a new way predators are harming their victims.
From September to October this year, there have been 198 confirmed reports of drink spiking in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to the Guardian.
In addition to the drink spiking there have also been 24 reports of drugging through some sort of injection.
Emma MacDonald, 21, only had a few drinks with friends on a night out in Glasgow, however, she has no recollection of the night.
Her friends and mother noticed her behaviour that night wasn't normal, however Ms MacDonald didn't think much of it until a bruise appeared days later.
Right in the middle of the bruise was what looked to be a pinprick from a needle.
"It makes you feel so sick that that's what someone's intentions are," she told Channel 4.
Ms MacDonald now needs to get blood tests to make sure the injection didn't give her any infection.
Channel 4 also spoke with Sarah Buckle, who woke up in hospital after a night out in Nottingham. She too had a bruise just like Ms MacDonald and said her hand was throbbing.
"It's terrifying, I feel really violated," she said.
One TikTok user saw the news report and said she also woke up after a night out and had a bruise on her, with what looks to be a needle prick in the centre.
"I literally had this and I didn't know what it was, I was on a night out and I got home and I had the same bruise like that, I still have it," TikTok user Isabella said.
"It's like a pin point, and then this bruise around it and it was super hard. And I had no idea what it was, and I couldn't remember anything, and I just thought I'd fallen over and bruised myself.
"Like, is this real? Is this actually happening? Is this real in England?"
'Girls Night In' born amid 'epidemic'
Due to the recent spiking incidents, the Girls Night In campaign is calling for a boycott on nightclubs "until spiking is taken seriously".
According to the Guardian, groups from more than 60 universities in the UK have joined the campaign, in the hopes women's safety is taken seriously and pressure is put on venues to address the issue of spiking.
"Spiking has become an epidemic," one of the campaign's Instagram posts says.
"Never before have we heard of so many students waking up with no memory of what happened the night before.
"This is not getting 'black-out drunk', this is getting drugged and is something that can be changed."
The campaign is calling for pubs and clubs to increase security at entrances — something which a petition before parliament has also called for.
"There are too many cases of weapons and 'date rape' drugs being used in clubs," the petition, which has over 166,000 signatures, says.
"It begs the question, why aren't nightclubs required to do more to prevent harmful items making it into their clubs?"
Girls Night In is also asking for clubs and bars to provide free drink protection devices and provide a clear and obvious medical centre and a safe way for people to get home.
The Girls Night In Instagram page also shares more harrowing accounts of people getting spiked.
Police in the UK are investigating the spikings and have stressed the importance of reporting instances as quickly as possible.
Spiking in Australia 'underreported'
Australia's Drug and Alcohol Foundation says drink spiking is underreported in Australia, so it is impossible to know how widespread the issue is.
Often, people who have been spiked won't report it out of fear they won't be believed or they will be blamed for what happened.
“There's an element of shame and an element of disbelief and victim shaming,” Melinda Lucas from Australia’s Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) previously told Yahoo News Australia.
“We know this when we talk to people when we say ‘oh, well maybe you drank more than you thought you did’ or ‘maybe you weren't aware of it’.
“So there's that second guessing that happens and that means people are less likely to go and report it because they fear they’re not going to be believed.”
In every Australian state or territory, it is illegal to spike someone, whether it be adding more alcohol to someone's drink, or spiking it with any drug, without the person's knowledge.
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