Young woman says government spiking report 'important' for victims

Chloe Ward believes she was a victim of injection spiking in Ipswich

Chloe Ward reported her experience to Suffolk Constabulary in October 2021 - Credit: Chloe Ward

A young woman from Trimley St Martin who gave evidence to the Home Affairs Committee's report on spiking has said the steps being taken are positive. 

Chloe Ward, a 22-year-old who had an experience with spiking last October, got involved with the government report by submitting a statement that was published. 

She was out with friends in Ipswich town centre on the night of October 30, 2021, and believes she was spiked with a needle. 

Speaking about getting involved with the government report, she said: "I saw an article online regarding their 'call for evidence against spiking'.  

"They were publicly asking for individuals who have been victims of spiking, or witnesses to spiking.  

"I wrote a detailed statement mentioning that I was recently a victim of needle spiking, what happened that night and answered the questions they wanted to be included." 

Miss Ward's statement was formally accepted and she was given an advance look at the report, which made a number of recommendations. 

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It said that more action needed to be taken to improve awareness of spiking, because a culture of victim-blaming and a lack of co-ordinated support has meant many incidents are going unreported, so the true scale of the crime is unknown.

Unit 17 in Ipswich have put special safety measures in place to keep their customers safe. Picture:

Anti-spiking measures are in place in Ipswich bars and nightlife venues - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Additionally, local authorities and licensing authorities need to ensure that venues have adequate security and staff trained to identify spiking incidents - and may risk the licence renewal process if they have a bad track record on spiking. 

MPs also said there is insufficient data on prevalence, location, method, perpetrators and their motivations, which is acting as a barrier to policing. 

Miss Ward said the published report is "a positive sign", adding: "The public evidence they gathered has highlighted the many difficulties that are faced within the reporting of spiking. 

"They also touched on the impact it has on victims, which I think is important. There is a lot of judgement towards individuals who have been spiked, which I have had myself after reporting it.  

"Multiple people blame us victims and it's not fair." 

She said her feelings about her own spiking incident are now more complicated than in the immediate aftermath of the event. 

"I was very open about it at first by spreading my story around," she explained. "But I have no words for it anymore. 

"I feel numb about the situation. I still think about it a lot, I don't think it'll ever get out of my head and I now feel vulnerable and unsafe everywhere."