It’s no secret all university students love a night out drinking, but you should never have to fear being a victim of a sexual assault or a date rape drug, male or female. Increasing news reports of attacks on women recently such as Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa, may have created more anxiety for women when going out, particularly at bars and clubs. Although this is not to say this article isn't for males either, it is for everyone.
Here is how to feel safer, so you can let your hair down and fully enjoy your night out:
Go out with people you trust. Stick with them and look after each other.
Cover your drink! Consider purchasing ‘spiking prevention scrunchies’.
Avoid putting your drink down anywhere or letting somebody else hold it.
Know your limits. Don’t allow pressure from people trying to get you more drunk and potentially take advantage of you.
Designate a mum of the night. Having one person at least sober enough at the end of the night to make sure everyone is home safe is easy and you can take it in turns on different nights out.
Organise lifts from a trusted friend or book a group taxi in advance.
Buy a personal alarm to keep on a keychain or in handbag.
In the worst-case scenario if you believe you or your friend may have been spiked, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
A note from SUBU:
If you think you have been spiked at The Old Fire Station, please report it as they have spike testing kits available.
Report even any potential spiking to staff and get to A&E as soon as possible.
All of their bar staff are trained in the Ask Angela scheme, this indicated to staff you need help or you feel unsafe and they can assist you.
They also have a get-home-safe taxi scheme: if a student calls United, quotes 999 taxi and gives them their student number, the taxi will be paid for and SUBU will be in touch at a later date to settle the bill.
Know the symptoms!
- Slurred speech / problems talking
- Difficulty controlling muscles
- Slow or fast heartbeat
- Feeling more drunk than you know you are
- Passing out
Apps for female safety:
Life360 is a safe app to allow your friends or family to be able to view your location. You can turn it on for nights out only if you prefer.
Shake2Safety can be triggered by subtle movements such as shaking your phone or pressing the power button four times, even if your phone is locked.
bSafe has an SOS feature and a Fake Call feature to assist you in uncomfortable or dangerous situations.
Stay safe and have fun!