A student has said she was spiked on a night out by a friend, and later found out they had “thought it would be a laugh”.
Gillian Reilly went for her end of year night out at the end of her three-year long drama degree at a Scottish uni, an evening for celebrating and saying goodbye to friends. During the night she noticed she felt odd – ”like my insides were getting pulled out”, Gillian says.
She was then sick for “weeks and weeks”, and says she was later told by a friend that one of their other friends had spiked her and “thought it would be a laugh to put something in her drink”.
Last year, The Tab found in a survey that 2,600 students believed they had been spiked in the first few weeks of the university year – over 11 per cent of respondents. There were hundreds of reports of drink spiking as well as spiking by injection made in the first term of last uni year alone.
‘I felt so unwell I honestly thought I was going to die’
“We always had an end of year celebration at university, and I went with all of my friends I had known for a while. I was in my final year so it was going to be goodbye for a lot of us”, Gillian told SWNS.
“I was drinking anything that was handed to me, and was having a really good time, but soon I started to feel weird. When I got back to my flat I felt really weird, it wasn’t how being drunk usually feels. I started to feel really dizzy at first – but then I got these sharp pains in my stomach, and I started to feel violently sick.”
She said: “The day after was when I knew something was really wrong – it felt like my insides were getting pulled out, I was sick for weeks and weeks. I felt so unwell I honestly thought I was going to die.
“It’s scary to think that it’s not just strangers you need to look out for. Sometimes, it’s people you know.”
‘It made me doubt who I can trust’
Gillian says it has made her feel betrayed and unable to trust people. “I felt really betrayed, you feel like you can trust people and it just made me doubt who I can trust. At the time I didn’t tell anyone because I had been attacked physically before and nobody believed me. They even said that I’d hurt myself rather than believing it was my attacker – so I’ve been really wary of coming forward since.”
She said: “Starting university is supposed to be exciting – you don’t want to have to think about these things happening. You’re meeting lots of new people and you want to think these people could be friends, but it’s not necessarily the case.
“You may meet people who do this to harm you, or in my case, people who think it’s funny to spike people.”
It happened in 2016 but Gillian says she has only just been able to speak out about what happened. She is now 29 years old and studying adult nursing at another university in Scotland, but says it still affects her to this day.
“It’s made me wary of going out and going to clubs”, she said.
“I was really cautious in Freshers’ Week and I’m very careful about who I go out with. Even now though, there needs to be so much more security to help people on nights out. There’s drunk, vulnerable people walking around campus, where’s security making sure they get home okay?”
If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, please head to Drinkaware for more information on drink spiking. You can find help via the Victim Support website, or call them on 08 08 16 89 111.
If you’ve got a story you’d like to share with us that you think we should know about, you can get in touch in confidence by emailing [email protected]
Related stories recommended by this writer:
• Spiking happens more at house parties than in clubs, so why does no one talk about it?
• An estimated 43,000 people may have been spiked last year in the UK
• Shock, the government’s said it has ‘no intention’ to make specific anti-spiking strategy
Featured image via SWNS