Meet the Leeds students who have created a drink spiking database

Spike Report is “a community-led spiking database to keep you and your mates safe”


CW: Discussion of spiking

Two masters students from The University of Leeds have created “a community-led spiking database to keep you and your mates safe” called Spike Report.

Elysia and Della co-founded @_theegalitarian a year ago, a Northern Editorial “seeking to smash the media monopolies + the patriarchy,” and have recently set up the online database, Spike Report.

The site was set up nine days ago on October 27th, as a reaction to the spiking epidemic leading to 67 per cent of Leeds students not feeling safe on nights out.

They “realised there [were] no viewable databases on spikings in the UK. You can report an incident to the police, but you can’t view what others have reported.

“With Spike Report, you can report a spiking incident, but also view what others have submitted. Search by venue, city, or method of spiking. We’re all about giving you the info you need to have the safest night possible – including the date of the spiking so you know when it happened, where and how.”

They hope to expand nationally

Since publishing, the site has had over 17,500 views and on average 22 spiking reports are posted each day. The main hubs of drink spiking appear to be in Leeds and Liverpool, but the girls told The Leeds Tab: “This is due to the word not being out there yet.

“We don’t want it to be purely regional, and hope to expand nationally, working with the government and MPs, but we are happy to press the government for action if needed.”

A Liverpool Uni society has since messaged the duo, asking to use the drink spiking data and hopefully push the word out.

Working together with venues

They are thrilled with the response so far, and have since formed a partnership with Sinners in Newcastle after they approached Spike Report following a drink spiking incident was posted on there, occurring at the club.

Since the incident was published, the club has expressed that they want to work closely with them, and the girls are producing a portfolio on how other venues can make their events feel safer and how they can proceed with internal policy changes.

Elysia and Della told The Leeds Tab: “The club reached out to us for more information, so we contacted the victim for further information on the incident.”

They did reiterate that contact details are required when posting an incident to confirm the incident is legitimate and so they can get in contact for further information if the victim would like to provide it.

“You [the victim] have the option to speak to the venue, or we can speak to them on your behalf and it can remain anonymous.

“It is totally in the power of the person.”

Support available

Elysia and Della revealed to The Leeds Tab that they are offering a support event for those that have reported drink spiking, or those who are wanting to attend, where they hope to form an online focus group, and discuss what will make them feel safer on a night out.

They have had multiple instances of people messaging them with support and providing stories of their spiking incidents, which they hope to publish to spread awareness of the spiking epidemic spreading through the country.

Future aspirations for Spike Report

They hope in the future for the website to contain data from across the country, and the data collected could be used as a “lobbying tactic” to initiate change at both a local and national level, to implement policies to reduce the likelihood of drink spiking.

Elysia and Della also revealed that they are in discussions with their web designer who is “flooded with positive feedback,” and have plans to add another section to the form where you report spiking asking for further information.

This would include a rating system where victims can assess how well the venues dealt with the incident, how well the police dealt with the spiking and how well enough they felt they were taken seriously.

Below is a list of links and helplines which can provide support and guidance for victims of spikings, injections and assault:

Symptoms of drink spiking and how to look after a victim of spiking

NHS guidance on what to do if you are injured with a dirty needle

Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds

NHS guidance on help after rape or sexual assault

West Yorkshire Police guidelines on spiking

Or you can text “SHOUT” to 85258 for free, 24/7 mental health support

If you or anyone you know suspects they have been spiked, call 999 immediately for medical help. Alternatively, if you have been affected by any of these stories and need to reach out, contact Refuge on their free 24/7 helpline 0808 2000 247 or contact Rape Crisis online for a free confidential chat helpline. You can also reach out to Victim Support on 0808 1689 111, or contact them on their free 24/7 chatline.

Related articles recommended by this writer:

• 67 per cent of Leeds students don’t feel safe on nights out

• ‘She couldn’t even stand up’: Leeds students share their experiences of spiking

• Here’s what Leeds clubs are doing to keep you safe