A sexual abuse charity based in Lincoln is raising awareness of drink spiking in city night clubs following a rise in reported cases.
Lincolnshire Rape Crisis have been contacted by a number of women sharing very similar experiences following nights out in Lincoln.
A number of women have come to the charity due to having their drinks spiked and then being allegedly raped.
In many cases, the women say they woke up after a normal night out with strangers in their homes, and having no memory of how they got there or who they are.
All of the women have advised the charity that they didn’t have a dangerous amount to drink, nor remember leaving the venue.
All believe that their drinks were spiked, and they all experienced “black outs” and complete memory loss of the incident. Women woke up after these blackouts to find they have been raped.
Lincolnshire Rape Crisis is working with Lincolnshire Police and several bars and clubs in the city so everyone is aware of these incidents.
As part of a campaign, the charity will also be placing posters in clubs and bars around the city.
Service Manager Laura Wint-McKane said: “Women have the right to go out and enjoy themselves without the fear of rape.
“Keep your eye on your drink and be careful about who you accept a drink from. If your drink looks or tastes strange or different to how you expected it to, don’t drink it!
“If you don’t know him, keep your eyes on where your drink is at all times. If you feel unsafe tell someone. Stick together, if your friend looks as though she is vulnerable, she probably is.”
The charity is also issuing advice to men in the city, to help all residents understand what classifies as rape or sexual assault.
It advises that if you see anyone behaving inconspicuously, putting substances in women’s drinks or behaving inappropriately, that they must tell someone or call the police.
The charity also stressed that putting substances in drinks or getting someone very drunk to encourage them to go home is not “pulling”, but is classified as rape.
Laura Wint-McKane added: “A woman that is too drunk to speak, stand or walk cannot consent. If you have sex with her, you are raping her. If a woman is unconscious and you have sex with her you are raping her.”
Lincolnshire Police said they fully support the advice given by the charity, adding that it is an under-reported situation.
Therefore, officers are asking any residents that feel they may have been in a situation, such as blackouts, awaking to a stranger with no memory of meeting him, or being unexpectedly ill during a night out for no clear reason, to get in touch as soon as possible.
That way, the more incidents that are reported to police, the more arrests and possible charges can be made.
For anyone affected by this story or any other sexual violence call Lincolnshire Rape Crisis on 0800 334 5500 or email email@example.com.