Due to Covid-19, Report + Support activities will be conducted through online channels. If you are in immediate danger or are seriously injured, please call 999 (or 112 from a mobile). For non-emergency calls, dial 101. 

Answers to questions relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the University’s dedicated webpages: https://www.dur.ac.uk/coronavirus/. Further wellbeing resources and advice (for students) can be found here: https://studentspace.org.uk/ 
Please note that any individual who discloses an incident of bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct and violence will not be subject to disciplinary action by the University if they have engaged in behaviour in violation of the social distancing and public health measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the time of the incident or events leading up to the incident. 

Spiking - what is spiking and who is responsible

What is Spiking and who is responsible?
Spiking a drink with substances such as alcohol or drugs or spiking by injection (regardless of any motivation, e.g. sexual violence/theft) are serious criminal offences with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and also constitute serious disciplinary offences within the University with sanctions including expulsion or dismissal. 

One of the most common motivations for spiking is to commit a sexual offence. Perpetrators who choose to spike another person are committing a sexual offence whether or not they commit any other form of sexual violence. There is no excuse for spiking and all guilt and responsibility lies with the perpetrator. The victim is never to blame. 

Safety Advice
Do not add any substance (including alcohol) to another person’s drink without their consent. Doing this can cause serious and dangerous health consequences for the victim along with emotional and psychological trauma. 

There are no guaranteed ways for individuals to prevent another person from spiking and the person subjected to spiking is never at fault. The following actions can help make it more difficult for a perpetrator to spike your drink.  Perpetrators will spike any type of drink, including non-alcoholic drinks, and spiking can occur at any venue, public or private, including parties in houses. If your drink is spiked, it is not your fault. 
  • Watch your and your friends’ drinks being served. 
  • Use an anti-drink spiking device, such as a Spikey or lid cover. 
  • Never leave drinks unattended - keep them in your hand or in sight. 
  • Do not accept drinks from anyone that you don’t know. 
  • If you are unsure about your drink, don’t drink it. 
How to be an Active Bystander
Do not tolerate jokes about spiking. As an active bystander, if you hear your friends or peers joking about or planning drink spiking or see something that is concerning, you can intervene if it is safe to do so. Remember the 4 D’s: Direct intervention, Distract, Delegate or Delay. 

If you suspect your friend has been spiked: 
  • Stay with them and keep talking to them. 
  • Don’t let them go home on their own or leave them with someone you don’t know or trust. 
  • Try to prevent them from drinking more alcohol as this can worsen their condition. 
  • Call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates. 
Signs of Drink Spiking
Drugs used to spike drinks are very difficult to detect as they are tasteless, colourless and odourless. Additional alcohol is also hard to detect in alcoholic drinks. The effects of drink spiking vary depending on what substance was used and if it is mixed with other substances, e.g. alcohol, recreational or prescription drugs. Symptoms could include: 
  • Lowered inhibitions 
  • Loss of balance 
  • Feeling sleepy 
  • Visual problems 
  • Confusion 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Unconsciousness 
What to do if you suspect you were spiked: 
  • Get help from a trusted friend or a member of staff at the venue. 
  • Report to the Police. Call 999 if at risk or 101 if in a place of safety. Police can test blood, urine, drinks and vomit for drugs.  Drugs can leave the body in as little as 12 hours after consumption so it’s important to report and get tested quickly. 
  • Seek medical advice. If seriously unwell, someone you trust should take you to your nearest A&E department; otherwise call 111 or consult your GP. If you suspect spiking by injection seek testing for infections such as hepatitis and HIV. A&E do not offer toxicology tests and will only perform tests for drugs when it is necessary to determine medical treatment. 
  • The SU 'Night-Cab' scheme provides a safe and secure way for students to get home or travel to A&E. The Night-Cab operates within a 2-mile radius of Durham City Centre, and costs just £2. There is no fixed timetable and, just like a normal taxi service, you can arrange to be picked up by calling the service on 07922 648802. 
  • Report to the University through the Report + Support tool to access support from College Student Support Office and specialist services. The University will then contact you to discuss your report further before taking any action. 
  • If you have been subjected to rape or sexual assault (or other forms of sexual violence), you have additional reporting and support options available to you. The North East SARC Support Service offers advice, support, counselling, sexual health screening referrals, confidential forensic medical examination and the support of an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA). You can approach them in confidence, whether or not you wish to make a formal report to the Police or University. To request an appointment call 03333 44 8283 or visit https://sarc-support.uk/ 
  • Additional information on reporting and support options can be found at https://www.dur.ac.uk/sexualviolence/getsupport/ or through the Report + Support tool. Specialist case managers are available to speak with you. 
  • #DurhamUnite is a campaign in response to spiking led by the Common Rooms in association with the University and Students’ Union. #DurhamUnite calls on clubs/pubs/bars to do everything they can to help their customers stay safe on nights out. This could include offering cup toppers, extra door checks, more staff training, etc. If venues sign up they can display the #DurhamUnite logo, demonstrating their support for the campaign. 


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