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Young women are tired of being told to stick together and see their drinks | Gabby Hinsriff

A young woman going out to a club at night suddenly feels that the room has begun to spin.

She goes black and wakes up in a terrible mood. Only the vague memory of the previous night and the mysterious throbbing pain on the back of my hand. And upon closer examination, she found a pin stab in her skin. I think she remembers a sharp scratch like an injection before everything goes blank.

It sounds like an urban legend. It’s like a gap-year horror story that begins in a remote backstreet bar in South America and ends with the victim waking up with a kidney loss. But the so-called “Needle spikes– A young woman on the go at night is allegedly injected by something that knocks them out of an invisible stranger – has been taken seriously by police in cities such as Nottingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow. .. Sadly, there are reports of nervous women going out wearing strong jeans and leather jackets on thick needles. These incidents may turn out to be rare, but they fit into a behavioral pattern that is horribly familiar to many.

Once upon a time, the idea of ​​slipping an extra shot of medicine or alcohol into a glass while turning the victim’s back and spiked a drink that was prone to rapists and thieves also seemed eccentric. However, BBC survey In 2019, 2,600 reports of a surge in drinks were revealed to police in England and Wales over the last four years. Now, the revival of nightlife after the blockade seems to bring old horror from woodwork.

Nottinghamshire Police Recorded 44 spike incidents reported Since September, 12 of them have “something sharp”. Student unions across the country are collecting reports of suspected beverage tampering. Sheffield, Norwich, When Canterbury.. After enduring months of canceled music festivals and closed bars, this year’s freshmen deserve the time of their lives. But for some, socializing is now plagued by anxiety.

It’s almost routine for a young woman to have a stranger’s hand inadvertently push your skirt up on a night out. Street harassment – ​​not just harassment, but rough suggestions and follow-up by men who can be aggressive if rejected – are normalized. Young women are tired of being told to stick with or look at drinks if the problem is male violence rather than female violence. Why do they need to tie themselves with more disturbing knots trying to stay safe while the perpetrators continue regardless? On the other hand, what depresses many older women is that this kind of daily harassment, if anything, gets worse year by year, even though the world is open to young women in different ways. It looks like you are.

Of course, bad things always happened at nightclubs and parties. Some men have always used women who are out of it. But Generation X didn’t go out at night, worried that someone might poison us. No one needed to provide us with a lid for our drinks, as they do our daughter. The misogyny we encountered was raw and open, but the idea of ​​secretly doping and submitting women is very dark and insidious.

One of the more annoying aspects of needle spike claims is that injecting a drug has a far more dramatic effect than letting someone unknowingly swallow it, pretending that a woman is in front of a guard. It is difficult to smuggle. I just got drunk. Is this really about the desire to humiliate and scare women rather than sexually assault them? Do some men get a kick just by stunning a woman in front of them, as if they were suffocating with an invisible hand? Young women can be ridiculed for being anxious and fragile snowflakes. But given the pressure some of them are under, they look positively warriors to me.

Student union already Organize a boycott Hashtag on Friday, October 29 #GirlsNightInEncourage young women to take a break from the club and protest instead. There’s nothing anyone can do to stop a stranger with a needle, so they never actually leave the house, so the spotlight is finally on tackling the perpetrators. If the nightlife industry wants women’s habits and goes bankrupt quickly without them, it’s time to prioritize safety. Spikeproof stoppers that fit beer bottles, even if that means annoying men with more rigorous searches and countermeasures already common in student union bars, from more trained security to stocks. However, students have the right to use consumer influence, and nightclubs do not solve this on their own.

Drink spikes prosecuted while women hesitate to go to the police for fear that women will not be taken seriously, and even if they are taken seriously, it may be difficult to find evidence. It remains difficult to do. Freshmen who overdo it on a night out are common in overstretched A & E wards to now regularly test for suspicious substances. Victims can be confused and have a hard time connecting what happened. But it’s a clue for police and prosecutors to find ways to avoid these obstacles, not to park these cases too difficult. Spikes are now another thing men do to women who are relatively exempt. With the exception of the sexual revolution overnight, it will only change with the real fear of being caught.

Gaby Hinsliff is a Guardian columnist



Young women are tired of being told to stick together and see their drinks | Gabby Hinsriff

Source link Young women are tired of being told to stick together and see their drinks | Gabby Hinsriff

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