Recently, there have been reports of incidents of drink spiking at the university’s Student Union, and whilst it is believed these cases are a rare occurrence, the union has taken steps to raise awareness of the issue.
Speaking to Sidonie, Vice President of Education and Welfare, we were told the SU are keen to highlight the importance of not victim blaming and have produced posters that offer an un-gendered reminder to be cautious. Sid emphasised the need to acknowledge that it is not just women that are the victims of drink spiking.
Drink spiking is often associated with illegal acts such as rape and theft. However, the act of drink spiking itself is in fact a crime. It can lead to up to a maximum of ten years behind bars if an individual is found guilty. If an additional crime is committed alongside spiking then the sentence can be even higher.
There are difficulties in confirming the exact number of cases that have occurred at Royal Holloway, as victims often do not come forward or do not go to the hospital in time to be tested. Nevertheless, anyone who suspects that their drink has been spiked should get in touch with the Wellbeing Centre.
The advice centre can also be contacted via email at: [email protected]. Cases can be reported both formally and anonymously. Students can also obtain bottle stoppers from the Advice and wellbeing centres as well as at the bar.