TW: Sexual assault, violence against women, rape, drugs
We are deeply concerned about the increase in drink spiking across the UK, including in London. The safety and wellbeing of our students is paramount, and we will be working to do what we can for our students.
What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence and abuse is any behaviour of a sexual nature which is unwanted and takes place without consent or understanding.
Drink spiking is an illegal offence. It has no place in our society and we will respond to cases of drink spiking very seriously. We want to make it clear that the responsibility rests solely with perpetrators – victims are never at fault.
We want you to know that we are here for you.
Whilst we must ensure venues are secure for your students, it is imperative to our values that they are safe for everyone. Increased surveillance at clubs and bars by security or the police are not only ineffective, but they also create their own problems and consequences – such as racial profiling and discrimination
What have we done?
We have been monitoring the situation for the past week and have contacted the University to understand whether there have been reported cases of spiking. We have a meeting with City on Wednesday 27th October to discuss our concerns around security for City Bar, safe spaces, and support for students. We have also alerted the University that there is no information on their Students Hub around drink spiking and support available and it is our understanding that this will be improved shortly.
What we will do next
As a Union, we have set up an information page on sexual violence support on our website.
Demand the University to provide active bystander training to all relevant student-facing staff, such as Security, and work with them to deliver training to students.
Ensure that the City Security team have the appropriate training to support students who may disclose an experience of sexual violence and that there is clear accountability.
Work with Sodexo to ensure external event security have appropriate training to support students, deal with disclosures of sexual violence and there is clear accountability.
What to do if you need support
We want to reiterate the support available to any student who has been affected by drink spiking. Any reports we receive will be taken extremely seriously.
Report and Support: The University’s platform for reporting and accessing support for all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, harassment and hate crime.
Counselling and mental health: Confidential, professional advice and counselling support. Students can contact the service directly.
Any cases of drink spiking can be reported to the police. As Officers, we do not necessarily feel comfortable around police presence due to the continuous and proven police violence against women, especially women of colour. However, we recognise that for some women, this may be an option. The Union Advice service can support students who may wish to report to the police.
University security can be contacted in an emergency on 020 7040 3333
Shaima | President
Shahd | VP Community and Wellbeing
Ruqaiyah | VP Education