Speaking to the annual conference in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary said:
“Spiking is a deliberate attempt to make a person more vulnerable. Spiking as an act in itself disregards both the consent and the dignity of the person being attacked. It is frequently, although not always, the first in a series of attacks on a person. Those attacks can involve robbery, assault, or sexual violence.
“It is also not currently an offence in itself in the UK. This needs to be changed.
When a person is spiked, there is a purposeful intention to cause them harm, regardless of whether a further attack occurs. There are many substances associated with spiking, but alcohol is the most commonly used to incapacitate someone.
“It is predominantly women who are the target of all kinds of spiking, but let me be clear that men can be and are targets of spiking and there have been very high profile cases of male sexual assault that included spiking. Spiking can happen to anyone. However the overwhelming numbers of incidents are of attacks on women, who are almost five times as likely as men to be spiked.
“Making spiking a separate offence in itself could go a long way towards validating the experiences of victims. It could encourage more reporting and hopefully more action being taken against perpetrators.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
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