One in nine women say they have had their drink spiked

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
November 18, 2021, 10:03 AM UTC

Overall, a third of women know someone who has been spiked

Last month, students across the UK took part in a boycott of bars and nightclubs to demand action on drink spiking.

Spiking usually refers to when drugs or alcohol are mixed into someone's drink without their knowledge or consent with the intent to incapacitate them or make them more vulnerable. However, there have also been some reports of people being injected by needle in packed bars and nightclubs.

New YouGov research shows that one in nine women (11%) say they have been a victim of drink spiking. Another 8% say a family member has been spiked, while a further 12% have friends who have had drinks spiked in the past. In total, a third of women have either been spiked themselves or know someone who has.

Among men, 6% say they have been spiked, while 4% say members of their family have been spiked, and 8% say a friend has. One in five men overall say they know someone who has been spiked or have been themselves.

Some two in five (40%) of those aged between 18 and 24 know someone who has been spiked, including themselves, the highest of any age group. Only 14% of people aged 65 and over say the same. However, it is those aged between 24 and 49 who are the most likely to say they personally have been spiked (14%).

Do people think they would be taken seriously if they were spiked?

One woman in Wales said she felt her complaint of being spiked on a night out was not taken seriously by the police – so much so that she said might not bother reporting another incident if it happened again.

Women are split over the issue, some 42% think the police would take them seriously if they reported being spiked – but this only includes 8% who are “very” confident they would be taken seriously. On the other hand, 41% do not think the police would take them seriously in such an incident, including 13% who are “not confident at all” they would be taken seriously.

Men feel broadly the same: 43% are confident they would be taken seriously by police, while 38% are not.

Approaching half of both women (49%) and men (46%) are not very/not at all confident a venue would take them seriously should they complain about being spiked there. Only 27% of women and 30% of men think a venue would take them seriously if there were spiked.

Britons of both genders are, however, confident that family and friends would take them seriously. However, while a majority of women are “very confident” their friends (56%) and family (57%) would take them seriously if they were spiked, only 37% of men are “very confident” their friends would take them seriously, while 47% say the same of their family.

This data previously appeared in The Independent 

See full results here