I have been made aware of the recent spiking incident that took place in the city centre. Here at AUSA, we do not tolerate any kind of abuse and feel deeply for the victim.
We are working with the police to ensure clubs are more vigilant to any cases of assault, abuse or GBV. We want to encourage all night clubs to go above and beyond to protect the safety of their guests.
If you or any of your friends suspect you may have been a victim of this crime, please do not hesitate to report it to the Police. If you feel unwell, please talk to bar or club staff.
Here are some common signs and symptoms of being spiked:
- feeling drunk or drowsy
- feeling drunker than you expected
- loss of inhibitions
- loss of balance
- nausea and vomiting
- an unusually long hungover
Here is who you can turn to for support:
- University of Aberdeen Student Support Services – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Police Scotland – you can phone 999 for emergencies, 111 for non-emergencies
- Rape Crisis Grampian – 01224 590932 - 9am-4pm Mon, Wed, Fri, 9am-8pm Tues, Thurs, Freephone 08088 010302 - Daily 6pm-midnight
Let me know if there is anything that we can do to support you. Chat to me via Facebook, email or Instagram.
Stay safe and remember it is not your fault.
Ivana – VP for Welfare.
Drink spiking occurs when a substance, is unknowingly added to your drink. These substances are sometimes referred to as the ‘date rape drug’, but also includes someone buying double measures instead of singles. The effects of these drugs can affect judgement and can incapacitate, putting the person at risk of serious crime. Everyone is at risk of drink spiking.
It is important to be aware of the effects of being spiked so that you can be mindful of your own safety, but also to be aware of the safety of other people. If you start to feel like you may have been spiked, or a friend starts behaving differently, then you can act quickly.
Drink spiking is a crime. If you have been spiked, you should contact Police Scotland and to report it. If you need support you can contact the Student Support & Advice team or AUSA Advice for a confidential conversation with a member of staff.
How to know if your drink has been spiked?
You may not be able to see, taste or smell if your drink has been spiked. The drugs may be colourless, odourless and may not even affect the taste of your drink. Most drugs that are used to spike drinks will take effect within 15-30 minutes and symptoms usually last for several hours. You may still feel some of the symptoms of a date rape drug after a night’s sleep.
Although symptoms will vary depending on the drug used, warning signs include:
- lowered inhibitions
- difficulty concentrating or speaking
- loss of balance and finding it hard to move
- visual problems, particularly blurred vision
- memory loss (amnesia) or "blackouts"
- feeling confused or disorientated, particularly after waking up (if you've been asleep)
- paranoia (a feeling of fear or distrust of others)
- hallucinations (seeing, hearing or touching things that aren't there) or having an "out of body" experience
- nausea and vomiting
What to do if you think your drink has been spiked
If you start to feel?strange or more drunk than you think you should be, get help immediately by telling a friend,?bar or security staff. If you aren't with anyone, call someone you trust?and get to a safe place as soon as you can.
Ask to use a phone if yours has been stolen. Be wary of accepting help from a stranger?and don't leave with someone you don't know. If you need urgent help, you should dial 999 and ask for an ambulance.
Your doctor can test for the presence of traces of certain drugs through urine or blood tests within 24 hours.
If you think that you have been assaulted, then you can also report this to the University through the Confidential Reporting System or contact Police Scotland.
Tips on trying to avoid drink spiking
Don’t accept drinks from strangers or leave drinks unattended.
Buy your own drinks and know what you’re really drinking.
If someone offers to buy you a drink, go to the bar with them.
Don’t drink something you didn’t open or see opened or poured; if you’re unsure about your drink, leave it. Don’t drink leftover drinks. “No minesweeping”
Keep an eye on your friends. If someone collapses or is unconscious, call an ambulance immediately and stay with them until help arrives.
If you’re on a date with someone you don’t know,?arrange for a friend to call you during the evening and/or pick you up, and let someone know where you're going and what time you expect to be home. Meet in a public space. Arrange your own transport.
If you are in a bar, and feel unsafe, vulnerable, or threatened can discreetly seek help by approaching venue staff and asking them for ‘Angela’. This code-phrase will indicate to staff that they require help with their situation and a trained member of staff will then look to support and assist them. This might be through reuniting them with a friend, seeing them to a taxi, or by calling venue security and/or the police.
If you have no way of getting home, use the Safe Taxi Scheme by calling 01224 878787. Find more details on this on the AUSA website.
Clubs and pubs
To protect your drink from being spiked don’t leave it unattended in a pub or club. If you want to visit the bathroom, go outside to smoke, or have a dance ask a friend to watch it for you.
Walking at night
Walking back from a night out or studying late in the library can seem the most practical (and cost-effective) way to get home. However, it's always advisable to avoid walking alone and leave in groups whenever possible.
If walking alone be alert, walk confidently, and avoid carrying all your possessions in one bag. Stick to well-lit roads, plan your journey before you leave, and don’t walk with your headphones in. You can call Aberdeen Nightline on 01224 272829 to have a friendly voice to speak to on your way home.
During the week, taxi ranks can be found off Union Street at Back Wynd, Dee Street, and Chapel Street. On the weekend, there are various taxi ranks stationed along Union Street.
If you find yourself stuck without cash, you can use the Safe Taxi Scheme to get home. Simply call Rainbow City Taxis at 01224878787, say you are booking a taxi under the Safe Taxi account, and tell them your university and ID number. Hand over your ID card to the driver, and collect a receipt from them when you leave. When you receive email confirmation of your taxi bill, you will be able to settle this and collect your ID card from AUSA students union.
Don’t give anyone else access to your bank PIN, internet/online banking passwords, or university login details.
Don’t give out any personal details to strangers who phone or email you claiming to be from your bank – they may be bogus. Your bank will never ask for your PIN or your password over the phone or in an email. If in doubt, hang up and call your bank on the usual phone number.
Don’t answer any emails telling you that you have won a lottery that you haven’t bought a ticket for – these emails are scams, designed to rip you off. Never, ever send these people any money.
When you use a cash machine, make sure that nobody can see you typing in your PIN. Don’t allow anyone to stand close behind you or to distract you when the card is released by the machine (for example, by dropping something or by tapping your shoulder). For more information about preventing crime and keeping yourself safe see the Crimestoppers website.