As far back as 2004, a Guardian/Channel 4 survey across 19 UK cities showed 1 in 4 women said they’d had drinks spiked in a pub or club. In 2014, a crime survey by ITV carried suggested a figure of 1 in 10,and a 2013 Swansea student survey put it as high as 1 in 3.
Even the lowest of these figures is high enough to take seriously, which begs the next question… what can happen if my drink is spiked? “People can spike your drink as a prank, or with the intent to assault, rob or sexually assault you”, according to Reach Out.
2012 Roofie Foundation statistics show that the victims of drug rape and sexual abuse through drink spiking are mainly female – about 11 women for every man. In 2011-12, more than 1,000 women in the United Kingdom reported being raped as the result of drink spiking, according to IMPACT, Nottingham in 2012.
These figures are probably much higher – the biggest problem is that the forensic evidence of the drug can disappear from the body within 12 hours of an assault. By that time, most of those assaulted have not even recovered enough to report it to the police.
Aside from the statistics, Rape Crisis Network Ireland says they are in no doubt that drink spiking is a real phenomenon. They’ve had people coming in saying things like, ‘Look I don’t know what happened last night’, or ‘I’ve a blank, and that never happens when I drink’. Or ‘I had three drinks and next thing I woke up in some strange bed’, or ‘I woke up naked in my own bed.’ People will say that they have some physical evidence that they had sex last night but they can’t account for it” (Irish Examiner, 2013).
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