Partying. Partying for many is what gets them through their university experience. Memories are made, university stress squashed (albeit temporarily) and a good amount of alcohol consumed. Many undergraduates are celebrating freedom and liberation from their families back home and urban nightlife is said to maintain a contradictory dualism of both deregulation and regulation versus fun and disorder, which is ‘conflicted and segregated, commodified and sanitised (Jayne et al., 2006; 459). In addition, alcoholism helps people adventure, hedonism and abandon (Winlow and Hall, 2006). Hutton 2006, explored identities of women in Manchester club scene and found clubbing was a way of exploring alternative identities, expressing sexuality and escaping regulation. As Malbon, 1998, uncover, the literature around clubbing accounts to descriptions of emotionality, experiences and embodiment. However, an unfortunate anomaly begins to arise such as , instances of unwanted attention, sexual assault etc.
One of the methods of such criminality is drink spiking or ‘drug assisted rape’. In which a common benzodiazepine, Rohypnol (commercial name Flunitrazepam), used to treat insomnia and assist with anaesthesia is used. It is the most commonly associated with DFSA (Drug-facilitated sexual assault) reflected un the popular designation of the crime ‘roofie rape’, or ‘Rohypnol rape’.
This drug acts as a muscle relaxant, causes memory loss, heightens sexual desires and leaves body in short space of time (Berrington and Jones, 2002). To compare one dose of Rohypnol is x10 the strength of Valium (Forandeu et al.,2006).
With drink spiking comes a large dark figure of crime, recent media reports of this phenomena shows misogynistic views and disproportion attention. We hope victim-blaming is a thing of the past and victims can feel they can report such crimes. However, it can be difficult to predict prevalence as this crime type is generally underreported, with fluctuations present due to awareness campaigns (Taylor et al., 2004). In addition, Lawson (2003) when analysing drink campaigns from companies in Australia found failure to be vigilant seemed to suggest causes of drink spiking. This mantra is wholly unacceptable and DrinkSeals wishes to stop victim blaming and advocate for appropriate responses being placed on criminals and the premises themselves, especially with regard to consistent searches of both genders, not just male attendees, also with the correct security measures being used in every instance. Advice being always keeping drink in hand, don’t leave it unattended and not accepting drinks from unknown people (NHS, 2007).
This literature review has been written by (Hons) Matthew Doyle (BA Criminology Postgraduate)