Women’s Safety in Nightclubs: What is Happening and What You Can do to Help

Vanessa Walker


The emergence of news stories detailing incidents that have targeted women across the country concerning their safety can be described none other than gut wrenching. Over the past week, women have taken to social media sharing their stories of being spiked in nightclubs. 

‘Spiking’ is a term used to refer to someone drugging an individual with a substance that can make them lose their memory, become unable to function their body, loss of speech, and become unconscious. Recently, there have been alarming reports of women being spiked via injection, waking up with no memory and puncture wounds in their backs, legs, or hands. The terrifying aspect to these reports is the worry that covering your drink isn’t enough. Students across the UK are describing it as an epidemic and have called for a nationwide club boycott on the 28th of October. 

Multiple social media pages have been created to spread awareness, Girls Night In Edinburgh is just one of the pages that has surfaced. They have urged nightclub owners to increase safety measures in their venues such as routine searching, free drink protection and a clear and obvious medical centre, and a safe way to get home. Already, numerous promoters and venues have voiced that they are taking extra precautions to ensure customers’ safety.

The fact that any of these safety measures need to be considered is beyond upsetting and there should never be a time where anyone should be afraid to enjoy a night out with their friends. Stricter measures need to fall in place to ensure the utmost safety of anyone who enters through a club door. A club should always be a safe space.

How can you spot if your drink has been spiked? Your drink may develop a foggy appearance, excessive bubbles, sinking ice or a change in colour or taste. If you suspect any of these, take your drink to the bar and ask them to pour it away immediately. 

What are the tell-tale signs of someone who has been spiked? They may be experiencing lowered inhibitions, loss of balance, visual problems, confusion, nausea, vomiting, or unconsciousness.

What to do if you suspect someone has been spiked? 

  • Tell a member of bar staff or bouncer

  • stay with them and keep talking to them

  • Call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates 

  • Don’t let them go home on their own

  • Don’t let them leave the venue with someone you don’t know or trust 

  • If possible, try and prevent them from drinking more alcohol as it can lead to more serious problems.

What can you do to help? 

You can sign the petition to make it a legal requirement for nightclubs to thoroughly search guests on entry. The petition already has over 150,000 signatures and will be considered for debate in parliament. 

You can follow social media pages which are combatting the issue in your local area. By typing @girlsnightin followed by your city on Instagram.

You can learn how to handle someone properly who you suspect has been spiked here.

Take part in the nationwide protest on the 28th of October and boycott clubs to highlight the urgency of this matter and urge venues to tighten their security measures. 

If you suspect you are spiked via injection, you can follow the instructions on what to do here and seek immediate medical attention.

You can write to your local MSP.