On 28 October, people across Edinburgh boycotted nightclubs in response to the recent surge of spiking across not just Scottish cities, but the whole nation.
Over the past month, the ‘Girls Night In’ online campaign has gained traction across almost 50 locations, such as Edinburgh, St Andrews, Bristol, Exeter, Liverpool and London.
Still, the campaign continues to grow.
On a cold and rainy Thursday night, young people took a stand and boycotted clubs in favour of staying indoors and having a night in to demand clubs do more to protect the safety of those on their night out.
Two weeks after, the question remains: how successful was the boycott, and what action needs to be taken now?
Based on reports from the girlsnightinedinburgh account on Instagram, over two thousand individuals were involved in the boycott, nightclubs shut down or were empty, and the movement achieved nationwide attention, from MPs and mass media alike.
Hannah Thomson, 24, from Glasgow, started a petition that now has almost 173,000 signatures that demanded nightclubs thoroughly search guests upon entry.
Parliament is scheduled to debate the petition on 8 November.
In an open letter to nightclubs based in Edinburgh, the girlsnightinedinburgh Instagram account stated that the boycott sought to “bring attention to the severity of the situation” and encouraged clubs “to do everything within [their] means and power to prevent these heinous spiking incidents to the best of [their] ability”.
In their open letter, they have suggested eleven ways that clubs could make people feel safer and prevent such malicious acts.
These include clear, high-definition CCTV that covers the whole establishment, increased security checks at the door, and life-long bans for anyone caught spiking.
Speaking to The Student, a third year student revealed their doubts about the effectiveness of the night altogether, stating:
“Clubs shutting down to represent their solidarity was a bit of a joke, if you ask me. One club closing for the night just means that perpetrators who are still brave enough to go out that night will just go somewhere else. I think if clubs wanted to show solidarity then they should have been more proactive or detailed in stating how they’d actually prevent it in the future.”
The third year expressed uncertainty about the clubs’ real intentions:
“In my eyes, the clubs closing for the night just seems like, ‘Oh, we’re sorry this is happening and we feel bad so we’re gonna close for the night because it’s probably cheaper for us to close for one night than be open, have no customers, pay our staff and not worry about someone getting spiked. Then after the boycott, we’ll reopen and be back to normal’.”
Image via Flickr