Most women will know someone that has been spiked.
Unfortunately it’s a conversation that’s becoming all too common with increased reports of spiking by injection.
Mair Howells was 22 when what should have been a night out with friends in Peckham turned into a nightmare, leaving her injured.
READ MORE: London Underground Mile End stabbing: Man fighting for his life after three stabbed on bus
“I took a sip of my drink and then I remember nothing,” she recalls.
(Image: Mair Howells)
“I was passing some drinks to my friends and that’s the last thing I remember. It was a complete blackout and that’s something that’s never happened to me before.”
When she woke up the next morning she felt absolutely fine but had no memory of how she got home or the previous evening.
She walked into her sister’s room and she explained to Mair that she had never seen her in that way before.
She was found in the men’s toilets with her injuries to her face.
Her chin was split, she had a fractured wrist and concussion.
“I was just apologising and I felt like I had done this to myself. By saying it was me it sort of felt like I was taking control back” she said.
Mair went to A&E the following day to treat the physical injuries and it was here that she found out that her injuries were in keeping with being spiked.
The nurse told her she knew as the same thing had also happened to her.
“I was confused and angry that someone had done this to me,” Mair added.
“It was a bar I had been to load of times before and somewhere I felt safe.”
Mair’s sister had been spiked two months prior and the way it was handled then didn’t give Mair much faith that she would get any answers.
“I didn’t even bother going to the police because they were so hopeless when dealing with my sister.”
Her mum requested to see the CCTV from the night in question but the footage was blocked by fairy lights so nothing could be seen.
She said: “I thought that was a little weird because surely a camera facing at the bar is the most crucial one.”
Here at MyLondon, we’re doing our very best to make sure you get the latest news, reviews and features from your area.
Now there’s a way you can keep up to date with the areas that matter to you with our free email newsletters.
We have seven newsletters you can currently sign up for – including a different one for each area of London and one dedicated totally to EastEnders.
The local newsletters go out twice a day and send the latest stories straight to your inbox.
From community stories and news covering every borough of London to celebrity and lifestyle stories, we’ll make sure you get the very best every day.
To sign up to any of our newsletters, simply follow this link and select the newsletter that’s right for you.
And to really customise your news experience on the go, you can download our top-rated free apps for iPhone and Android. Find out more here.
After her experience Mair found there was limited resources for women in the UK to access around spiking.
She’s set up the platform @Ivebeenspiked which aims to educate and raise awareness of drink spiking.
“It’s such a grey area in terms of safety and there needs to be a proper system in place.
“The police tell you to go to A&E to get a blood test but from experience you’re just ping ponged about during what is already a distressing time.
“We need to make sure there’s support offered to victims, there’s no aftercare, no follow up and we need a better education whether that’s in schools and universities.
“Ideally I would prevent it but if I can’t do that then the least I can do is to educate people so that they know this is happening.
“If someone has been spiked they can’t help themselves, we need to educate everyone so that people are aware and they can help each other.
Many incidents of drink spiking often go unreported because people are unaware they’ve fallen victim to it.
Figures obtained by the BBC showed that there were 26000 reported incidents in England and Wales since 2015.
Mair’s platform has meant that she’s heard from many women who have all been in similar situations to her and these conversations are only becoming more frequent with a rise in spiking by injection.
Only the other day she heard of someone being injected into their hand whilst on a night out.
A petition started by her platform has now received over 3000 signatures and calls for an urgent government review into drink spiking.
Priti Patel today has order an urgent update from police on the UK’s spiking problem following an increase in reports.
Have you been spiked and want to speak out about your experience? If so, email [email protected]