Today’s Solutions: May 23, 2022

Going out with friends for a night out on the town is a luxury (especially these days) that everyone should have the right to enjoy without the niggling fear in the back of their minds that they may be targeted by actors of sexual violence and abuse.

Many people, especially women, are told by those who love them to be wary when they’re out, to never accept a drink that they didn’t watch being made, and to not leave their drink unattended in case the beverage has been spiked. According to statistics published in a YouGov poll in November of last year, one in nine women and one in 17 men in the UK report being victims of drink spiking. While the responsibility should never be placed on the victims of such situations, the unfortunate reality is that it is smart to be cautious.

The Newcastle University Student’s Union society It Happens Here, has had a long-standing and continuing campaign against sexual violence and is now giving out kits for free to students who are worried that their drinks may be spiked.

Once a drop from the drink in question is put on a patch, the kit, which checks for GBH and ketamine, will change in color.

“It works by dipping a finger or straw in the drink and dropping it onto a test patch, which changes color if the drink is not safe,” explains Madeline Baugh, the president of It Happens Here. “These were suggested by Newcastle University students and obviously while the kits don’t solve or address problems, we hope they will make students feel safe.”

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