A recent BBC report outlines how Police Scotland found no official cases of spiking via injection, with this news breaking I was interested to re-visit the time when the initial news first started to come out.
With one of the first stories appearing in Daily Record on the October 13, 2021 detailing the accounts shared via an Edinburgh Anonymous Instagram account, the accounts said that they had a bump at the point of injection and similar symptoms to being spiked not via injection e.g., feeling suddenly drowsy, nauseous.
At the time of this breaking, I distinctly remember an instant feeling of dread and exhaustion, it is common practice to cover drinks and never leave them unattended so how could those wanting to spike us find yet another (and seemingly smarter) way to threaten us?
I was interested to see if other people felt the same way, Emily Carson, 22 (Stirling) said upon seeing the news she was “very scared and shocked”. An anonymous interviewee shared similar feelings saying they felt “angry but not surprised as we all know to look out… but the fact there was a new way we don’t know how to protect ourselves from was scary”.
Additionally, Carson said that the additional measures she undertook were “ensuring someone was always with someone” and that “a couple of my friends had those scrunchie things you can put over your cup”. (As pictured below)
Unlike Carson, the anonymous interviewee did not take any additional measures as “I don’t know what measures I could take”.
When asked about if the police responded well Carson replied, “not really no, because they said they needed evidence and they couldn’t prove what had happened”.
Anonymous interviewee differed from this view saying: “Since there’s a report that there’s not a problem with it, I think it shows how reluctant people are to go to the Police, because it’s often so hard to prove or do anything about”.
As for lingering fear Carson said: “it seems to have calmed down but because it has calmed down it could jump up on you”.
Anonymous interviewee said they are “absolutely (still scared) despite the Police report I have no doubt it has happened and will continue to. There is no way to protect myself”.
Carson added that a friend of hers had experienced spiking via injection: “she woke up not remembering anything and was sick… a bruise with a blood clot in the middle of it. She went home so no action was taken”. Anonymous interviewee said “a lot of people I know have been spiked, in their drink, but recently a friend of mine was spiked by injection”.
In a survey I conducted, 100 per cent of respondents said that they had not been spiked via injection but 75.8 per cent of respondents knew of someone who had. This does explain the innate fear that women feel when going on a night out, the knowledge that they might become the person that people know who got spiked. This data presents the fear that falling victim to spiking via injection is something so far away but so close, spiking seems to be an issue that all women need to be aware of, yet we never know when it will strike.
18.2 per cent of respondents did not go to the police if spiked (the other 81.1 per cent answered non-applicable) with reasoning such as “not enough evidence” and “they don’t take crimes against women, especially on this instance where it can be blamed on ‘over-drinking’, seriously”. This data can be seen to indicate a lack of trust in police, which can back up Police Scotland’s report of no official reports of spiking via injection.
When asked for additional comments on the matter, one response read:
“My friend was spiked during a night out in Stirling but didn’t want to go to the police because she had no proof and thought that they wouldn’t believe her”.
“I always feel uncomfortable when my gf goes out by herself now because I know how bad catcalling, spiking, sexual harassment has gotten these days. It’s not my place telling her what to do, but sometimes I wish I could just tell don’t hang out with ‘x’ or don’t go to ‘y’ pub”.
These responses detail how people feel unable to ask for help or that the help they do receive will be futile. Which again does coincide with Police Scotland’s reports of no official reports of spiking via injection.
It is therefore clear to see that spiking is a practice that is not dying as the majority of people know someone who has been spiked, suggesting that it is a fear that is both out in the open but also hidden in the dark. I think the exhausted feeling comes into play when women already defend themselves from spiking and then we have to try and learn another way. It’s like we’re thrown into battle with no armour and just expected to survive.
Perhaps the initial breaking of the spiking via injection was because it unlocked a new fear woman, not the fear of being spiked but a fear that it was happening in a much more invasive manner that seemed impossible to protect ourselves from.
It is clear to see that the new method of spiking sent already terrified women into yet more terror as a new method of endangering us emerged. The exhaustion of trying to have a night out without becoming endangered persisted, the report from Police Scotland does little to comfort women as women are either too scared to report or nothing happening as a result of reporting. The ever-present danger seems like it will be impossible to get rid of.
Feature Image Credit: everydayhealth.com