Campaigning group #GirlsNightIn has gained momentum on social media, encouraging people to boycott nightclubs on Wednesday 27th October to protest the safety of women in clubs and bars.
The campaign was founded in response to the recent rise in spiking incidents in student areas across the UK and calls for increased measures and resources to support the protection of women.
Towns and cities all across the country are getting involved, with boycott’s currently planned to run until the 5th November.
Cities such as Manchester, London and Nottingham are just some of the many that are participating for the cause.
Police have confirmed the rise in spiking across the country, which includes attackers putting drugs in drinks and now, using needles to inject their victims.
In September and October, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) reported 198 spiking incidents across the UK, 24 incidents included injections.
Although this figure accounts for both men and women, the majority of victims have been young women.
The boycott’s main aim is to make it clear to bars, clubs, venues that extra safety measures need to be put into place in order to make these the spaces safer for women.
Leading the campaign in Manchester, @GirlsNightInManc shared a statement posted on their Instagram page: “Along with many cities in the UK, we are organising a boycott of all clubs in Manchester to demand that spiking is taken seriously.”
The group has also published an open letter to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). In the letter, they call for GMCA to take ‘greater action’ in order to prevent spikings and request additional resources to ‘be put into keeping people safe at bars and clubs’.
Much-loved city-centre student nightclubs, 42s and The Venue, will be shutting their doors on Wednesday in support of the campaign.
In a statement posted on Facebook, 42s said: “After careful consideration, we have decided we are going to close next Wednesday 27th October. This is not a decision we have taken lightly, particularly as we have a lot of staff who rely on their income from 42s.
“As such, we will still be paying our staff for the night, despite being closed. Everyone has the right to feel safe on a night out, it is important our staff and customers know that we take their safety very seriously.”
So, how can you get involved?
- Read and sign @girlsnightinmanc’s Open Letter to Andy Burnham and GMCA
- Attend the #GirlsNight Manchester protest on Wednesday 27th October, 7pm at St Peter’s Square
- Post your thoughts on the campaign using #GirlsNightIn and make companies and clubs know where you stand
- Make sure you are aware of the signs and what to look for if you or someone you know has been spiked
For more information on how you and your friends can stay safe, check out:
- Drinkaware’s guide on ‘What to do if you think you or someone else has been spiked’
- If you suspect you have taken a drink that has been spiked, you should call 111 or visit A&E or your nearest health centre. If you do receive medical care, ask them for a record of what they found in your body.
- Visit Manchester Met’s Student Union for impartial and confidential Advice Centre for guidance on further support.
- If you’ve been sexually assaulted or raped: You can report report rape or sexual assault to online or by calling 101.