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Durham University Sparks Outrage With ‘Disgusting’ Nightclub Spiking ‘Advice’

by : Hannah Smith on : 20 Oct 2021 10:20
Durham University Sparks Outrage With 'Disgusting' Nightclub Spiking 'Advice'Alamy

A tweet by Durham University offering students advice on how to avoid having their drinks spiked has led to backlash and renewed conversations over victim-blaming.

The controversy comes following reports that students at nightclubs were being injected with drugs, with one man arrested yesterday in connection with an incident in Nottingham.

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Durham University has since released advice on spiking, but it hasn’t gone down well with those on social media.

nightclub (Alamy)Alamy

The university’s Student Wellbeing office wrote in a since-deleted tweet, ‘Drink spiking is dangerous and something you can prevent from happening to you and your friends,’ alongside a photo reading ‘Don’t get spiked’, sparking outrage among students.

In a post on Instagram, Durham University student Katie Budenberg slammed the university, writing ‘here we are putting the responsibility and blame on the victim. If it were possible to #dontgetspiked then why would there be rising rates of it? Maybe next time try #dontspikepeople.’

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Budenberg explained that while she and her friends already take every precaution possible on nights out, they’re still left vulnerable to spiking and harassment, and should not be made to feel responsible for the actions of their attackers.

‘This hashtag is victim blaming and creates a culture whereby someone is drugged without their permission and they are to blame,’ she wrote, adding ‘the spotlight is rarely turned on the perpetrators or asked what can be done to protect victims or potential victims.’

Budenberg’s post has received more than 9,000 likes from Durham students and other female students around the UK, with several saying their own universities have also failed to properly address the issue of female safety.

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Following the backlash, Durham University issued a follow-up tweet in which they wrote ‘we appreciate the feedback on our recent post about drink safety. Students have reported concerns to us about drink spiking on nights out. We take this very seriously, & work with the police & others on guidance to help people be safe & report incidents.’

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: News, harassment, Now

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@make_love_not_diets/Instagram
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