On Wednesday 27 October, Leeds students are urging students to boycott clubs and bars to tackle drink spiking.
Students across Leeds have had enough of worrying or actually having their drinks’ spiked on a night out.
And rightly so. Students, nor anyone, should have to worry about having their drink spiked, violence or any unwanted behaviour.
According to founding groups, Girls Uncut Leeds and Girls Night In Leeds, cases of assault, spiking and violence against women on nights out have increased and with methods of injecting drugs into victims through needles on the rise, it’s important to make a stand and show that this cannot be tolerated any longer.
So next Wednesday, grab yourself a seat on the sofa and enjoy a night in with the girls for ‘Girls Night In’: a boycotting event to show the industry that more needs to be done to prevent and tackle drink spiking.
For those outside of the student bubble wondering why a mid-week protest is taking place, it’s unofficially student night across the city.
It’s known as the ‘sports society night’ and according to Girls Uncut Leeds, it’s often the biggest night in the week for nightclubs across Leeds.
Responses to the boycott have been overwhelmingly positive and comments have flooded across social media:
“I hope this leads to change, women’s safety on nights out needs to be prioritised now. Fingers crossed.”
Even though clubbing won’t be on the agenda, there are still plenty of exciting and empowering activities to get involved in during the evening.
Girls Night In will be collaborating with Leeds Student Radio and hosting a five hour live event from 7pm until midnight.
Although the Girls Night In has been organised by Leeds students and groups in collaboration with University of Leeds Clubs and Societies, they are keen to stress that the problem of drink spiking isn’t just Leeds-based.
“Increased reports all over the country of young students on nights out facing violence are being seen every week. Universities, clubs and student even organisations have done little to nothing to address this problem.”
According to a study by the BBC found that between 2015 and 2019, there were 2650 reports of drink spiking in England and Wales, 72% of victims were women and 10% were under 18.
Clubs in Leeds have also been overwhelmingly supportive, Cirque Du Soul states that:
“We are completely and utterly appalled by the rise in spiking within both Leeds and the broader student population of the UK. We will be consulting with Beaver Works as well as other venues we use to look at ways to improve this moving forward.“
The event, amongst other organisations across the UK are calling to make it a legal requirement for nightclubs to thoroughly search guests on entry.
The petition has already received over 120,000 signatures so it is eligible for Parliamentary consideration, but the more signatures the petition receives, the more substantial the case for increasing security will be.
If you have been affected by any of the issues that have been brought up in this post, please reach out to #AskForAngela, Street Angels Leeds, Good Night Out Campaign, Not on my Campus UK, Women’s Lives in Leeds or Nightlife Crew.