Spiking in Oxford: Testimonies

by | March 14, 2022

CW: Spiking


Please can you start by telling me, in your own words, what happened?


A couple shared a drink at the Bullingdon club sometime in Michaelmas of this year

He: ‘I saw her with her hand over [her drink]…I remember seeing her do that, but then I was like, who’s going to spike me?’

She: ‘Whenever I was holding it, I was covering it with my hand, which makes me feel even sillier, because clearly I was conscious there was a risk. And I think it was just that my boyfriend didn’t think to do that, and so my theory is that it got into it when he was holding it.’

He: ‘All of a sudden, my memory sort of flips…it almost feels sort of like a haze and like a dream and then it becomes a blip and I don’t remember anything…I have a memory of me falling down in the club collapsing…I just remember seeing coat check in a spinning blur. But there’s no way I was drunk enough for that.’

She: ‘I have an image of myself doing this because I’ve had this told or retold enough but there’s nothing in my own memory of it. Apparently, I walked a few paces outside [the club] and then collapsed.’

Their friend took them home, carrying one along the street, setting them down ‘safely, head against a wall’, then going back for the other. 

He: ‘I was falling, I was hitting my head on the ground. I was just collapsing, sort of rag dolling, just on the street.’

She: ‘His friend called paramedics, they came and checked us out. I have no memory of this.’ ‘It just sounded like a story about somebody else, I guess. I actually asked him to show me that 999 call on his phone. And then I was like, “Okay I understand that this happened.” It’s just really weird to think about people touching me to examine me and me just not having any recollection of that…I keep wondering what the paramedics faces look like and thinking maybe I can force myself to somehow recreate the image of it.’

She: ‘I think there was a point where I either thought I was going to die or thought my boyfriend was going to die, I can’t really remember much of it…I was conscious enough to realise something was wrong with him and started freaking out. His friend was telling me the next day that I was panicking and saying “He can’t die, he can’t die.”’

He: ‘I sort of initially thought maybe we had a lot of drinks, but I recounted the night and I thought it was definitely not the case.’

‘My friend told me what happened and I was like, “Mate, you’re making this up. There’s no way this happened. There’s no way there were paramedics in my room, looking at me, because I would surely remember that.” And then that was the moment where it sort of clicked, and I was pretty sure I got spiked.’

She: ‘Every fifteen minutes I’d have to re-walk myself back through the fact that I didn’t just drink too much.’

‘The paramedics…said, “Well, they may well have been spiked but we can’t test for it”… The advice from the paramedics was just to wait.’

She: ‘I don’t think it’s possible for me to disentangle my experience from the fact that I was spiked alongside a man. I think the way that his friends have reacted is like, “This is insane” and, “I don’t know how this could have happened to you, there’s nothing you could have done.” And then I think that rhetoric just kind of gets applied to me too… It’s almost weird because I take all these precautions, I was taking them on the night, and of course he didn’t really think to. And yet, the fact he got spiked, I think, is the reason why people are like, “This could happen to anyone”… I feel like it’s hard for men to fit their experience into the bigger picture of spiking in Oxford…It’s traumatic, no matter whether it fits into a bigger picture or not. And I actually do suspect it was put into the drink when it was in his hand, which I think complicates the narrative of who is targeting who.’

She: ‘Comparing [my experience] to the experiences of friends I have who have been told, “Why are you banging on about spiking, you clearly just drank too much”… I think that cultural piece is what causes me to feel like I need to justify over and over again, “No, I didn’t just drink too much.” Because I think there’s the victim blaming bit but there’s also the bit where it’s like, “Don’t cry spiking when you just embarrass yourself by getting too drunk…” I saw that shaming up close after my own experience. I think it confirmed fears I had about how people might respond to me, I guess.’

‘People do have the idea that the prevalence of spiking is a free pass women can use to get out of the responsibility for getting drunk. Which is obviously f****d up…There was one [joke] where I actually heard it from someone and I responded to it, was like, “Is the implication that spiking is somehow convenient for women?”’

He: ‘I haven’t been to Bullingdon. Just because I think… probably negative memories…I think we sort of said, if we don’t go out again, soon, clubbing will always be something that scars us in a way. So we did go out after that.’

She: ‘I think it’s one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me…I didn’t go out for the rest of term. I don’t know. I want to say it’s not because of that, but realistically it was…I want to have a normal going out life but I also recognise that I’m able to mitigate my risk quite well by not going out. So, it’s kind of like victim blaming myself effectively.’

‘Holding a drink feels like a liability to me. I just don’t want to have one in my hand anymore…I feel like I need to conquer the fear. I don’t know – it reminds me of when I was [younger and] I got into a very bad car accident. I wasn’t hurt or anything but it was definitely a near death experience. My mum was very insistent that I should get behind the wheel and drive the next day. And I’m kind of worried it’s too late now and that I’ve already let it ruminate for long enough that I’m not going to be able to go out normally anymore…I told my mum about it and she was like, “No going to clubs anymore.” I was like, “Can we unpack how this is not really the appropriate reaction?” And then she sort of apologised for it. It was, I think, just an overprotective mother thing.’

She: ‘I think the idea of an unspecified chemical compound going into my body and having effects on me that are nothing near anything I’ve experienced, I have it in my head “Oh my goodness, what if this creates some kind of – what if there’s some long term effect I haven’t yet noticed?” I just wish I knew what it was… I think that contributes to my overall fear…I realise that tracks an assault logic but something foreign entering your body itself is an assault, no matter what happens after. That’s the thing I’m afraid of.’

‘It follows the logic of terrorism in my mind, which is the whole point of doing terrorist attacks is that then people don’t know which public places they’re safe in and which they aren’t. And it feels like it’s lurking around every corner. Whereas if you can identify a perpetrator then you can tell yourself they’ve been neutralised, and the threat is gone. I realise it’s probably kind of weird and insensitive to compare it to terror attacks, but I think that’s my only way of understanding it because it feels designed to create the same effect.’



A friend of mine reportedly accepted a drink at Bridge nightclub in the first few weeks of Michaelmas of this year

‘Within half an hour of entering [Bridge nightclub] I managed to lose my friends and they didn’t know where I was…When my friend found me later I was throwing up in a toilet…I told her I had taken a drink off someone, I can’t remember this…They eventually called an ambulance because I think I was having a panic attack at the same time and they were scared that I might be fitting. And then eventually I woke up and was like, “Where am I?” My last memory was from the bus stop. I don’t remember any of the club at all…I remember just being quite confused at what was going on because I had a group of about six people sitting and standing around me and I had no idea what was happening. I felt pretty sick… On that night that I got spiked. I think two other people that we know got spiked at that same club on that same night.’

‘I remember the day after, I felt so weird. I was walking down the street and I felt like everybody was staring at me. And I felt like every single person I saw was the person that spiked me…Like you’re like a prank show and someone comes out and it’s like, ‘Haha, you’ve been pranked!’ I felt like that was going to happen like the entire time…It just felt like everyone was just judging me and being like, that’s the person who accepted that drink and went crazy.’

‘When I went to the police station, the next day, they were like, “Well, you probably should have tested for the drug yesterday, because that’s when it was in your system and they should have done it.” But the advice the paramedics gave me was that the hospital weren’t actually going to test [me for drugs]. So I didn’t get tested…I would significantly prefer to have been tested, just for my mental sanity, I’m not faking it kind of a thing…It would also be good to know that actually I did have something in my system, and I actually was attacked. I don’t like the idea that this foreign thing that was inside me that I have no idea what it was. At least I have the right to know what they put inside of me. And what the effects that could have on me, be it any long term or whatever. It would just have been better to know what it was.’

‘Apparently [my friends] spoke to the bouncer and they said, “We can look at CCTV footage.” I think one of my friends gave them her number, but they never got back to them …The police kept on saying they were going to go look at the CCTV [from the club]. They kept asking them for photos of me and descriptions of me…When the whole spiking thing became bigger news they changed the person who was going to deal with the case. So for some reason they didn’t have the photos from the last guy, which kind of implied that they just lost them. I don’t really know…And then by the time they ended up looking at [the CCTV], it had been overwritten so they couldn’t even look at the CCTV. They never even looked at it, even though the bouncer said they were going to look at it the next day or whatever, implying that it was going to be straight away. Why would you wait months to look at it?’

‘They said they’re closing the case and that they are going to file it. They couldn’t find the CCTV and that was basically it.’



A fresher went to Christ Church and Balliol bars and then Bridge nightclub in the first few weeks of Michaelmas

‘It was the first or second week of Michaelmas, I was a fresher…My memory of the night is very lacking. But what from what I do remember, we went to the club, and then my memory just kind of goes blank…They found me in the smoking area pinned under a random boy… I myself don’t remember anything. But I think it was on one of these sofas in the bridge smoking area…Apparently, I was just very unresponsive…One of my friends literally just pushed him off me and pulled me away from him…I did feel very violated…I think it was more the idea of just being pinned under someone without consent. That was what troubled me afterwards.’

‘There was one night where I was at [a pub]. I don’t know what he looks like but my friends all recognise him and, apparently, he was there too. He seemed to be pretty unaffected…One of my friends subtly said, “Listen, this is this individual. If you want to leave, we can”… I think for me, the real fear is that I didn’t want to look too closely at him. I’m not sure if I would recognise him again if I saw him. I think that I know roughly his physical appearance, like basic features, hair colour, height, that sort of thing. But the scary thing is that I don’t remember his exact face. He could very easily do the same thing to someone else. It reminded me of the way that I just had no memory of that night. People get blackout drunk, but that’s quite a scary thing to think that something’s been put in your system that just totally erases your memory.’

‘[Another group of my friends were] trying to get the boy in question who they had found me with removed from the club and searched. So I think they did take him out and search him. But then he was let back in because they didn’t find any drugs on him…I highly doubt it happened in the college bar at Christchurch, but it could have…which means that it was a member of my own college. It could have happened at the Balliol bar…so it could be a member of Balliol. Or it could be a random person at Bridge…I think it just makes it a lot more difficult to trust people because if I can hold someone accountable, or if someone was held accountable, it would give me a sense of closure: this person is probably not going to be able to do this sort of thing again because they’ve received punishment. But not knowing where it happened, how it happened, and who did it, means that it could.’

‘I ended up spending the night in the JR…The only reason that a urine sample was taken is because my parents…[are] both medics… they were there with me in the hospital that night and they were quite pushy with the staff. They were like, “No, we want a urine sample to be taken. This is ridiculous.” And I think for that reason it was taken, but it wasn’t sent off…The urine sample was never sent off because, apparently, they need empirical CCTV evidence that I was spiked in order to merit doing a drug test to prove that I was spiked. It doesn’t really make any sense…I think you have a system with the police where they don’t take a urine sample and send it off unless they have evidence to think that something’s been put in your drink. But a urine sample is the evidence that you’ve been spiked. It is paradoxical. It just doesn’t make sense.’

‘I think the morning after I had a chat with a [member of the police]. And she said that the urine sample testing is a very expensive process so in order to do so they need to make absolutely sure that there was there is reason to suspect that I was spiked…The updates on the progress [of the investigation are] that they’re still working on trying to obtain the footage. They’ve not forgotten about it, but they’ve not got the footage. Right.’

[At the time of interview, this has been ongoing for around four months.]

‘I do remember that the DC who was investigating… or at least keeping me in the loop with the investigation, she said the day after to me that there’s never been a confirmed case of spiking amongst Thames Valley Police. She said never.’

This claim, that there have not been any confirmed cases of spiking amongst Thames Valley Police, has been absolutely denied by DCI James Senior. It remains concerning that this was said to this victim.

DCI James Senior: There absolutely have been cases confirmed of drink spiking in Thames Valley.



A woman went to a party at a student house with her boyfriend and other friend

‘It’s kind of ironic because I’d made a joke to my friend about the fact that the Blues Rugby team were going [to the party] and I was like, “Oh, watch me get my drink spiked” a couple of days before…I just sort of became aware that I couldn’t move or feel my legs or anything.’

Her boyfriend took her home.

‘I remember telling [my boyfriend], “I think I’m going to die.” I remember getting home that night and lying on the bathroom floor and just being so cold…It was only really when I spoke to [a friend who went to the same party] who had exactly the same thing, at the same party, that I kind of put two and two together… It must have been random because we are such weird people to want to spike in the first place, because I’m clearly out with my boyfriend, it’s not like they are going to gain anything from it…You’re not really expecting it [to happen at a house party]. I wouldn’t even take the same measures at a house party as I would in a club…The feeling that someone in that room knows that they’ve spiked you and got away with it, it’s just a really uncomfortable feeling. Even if they don’t try and do that again…It just feels like, “When will my body be left alone to exist?”…It feels like you can come to [university] and be your own person, but also you’re never quite safe. And like, it’s never fully your own body.’



A woman attended a crew date at a restaurant with her student sports team

‘It was in first year, and it was my first crew-date with my college sports team…It was a lot of older boys, and quite young fresher girls…We went along, and obviously all sat down with our drinks out playing games and things. I went to the toilet at some point. I think that must have been the point when something was put my drink. I just don’t remember anything after that point, which was probably about 8:30. And so obviously everything else I’ve heard happened to me…By the end of the crew-date, walking home… I couldn’t walk properly. I was acting out of personality being quite rude to people, and then sort of falling over. later in the evening, I lost control of my muscles completely. So, I couldn’t hold myself up or anything.’

‘Boys went home with every group of girls…I think apparently the two boys [with us] were basically holding me up because I couldn’t walk…One was in fourth year…[At the crew-date those two men were sat] next to me and opposite. [They] were the ones who came back to the accommodation…When they got to the fresher accommodation, [those] two boys basically just sat in the kitchen and my friend overheard them saying, “Come on, we know we’re only here for one thing”. They said quite horrible things about the situation…They wanted to sleep with someone and that’s why they were there.’

‘I was throwing up a lot, like really ill. And at one point, my friend was holding me up and sort of lost hold of me. I hit a sink and my head was cut open basically. So I bled quite a lot…First thing I remember is waking up in the morning, had no idea where I was. Luckily my friend had slept in the room to make sure I was okay. I just had no idea what I’d done. I didn’t remember leaving the crew-date, ever…And obviously, I had an open wound on my face. So, sort of woke up, and my friends were thinking it was very odd. Everyone sort of just thought I drank a lot, but it just wasn’t like me at all. Kind of sat down with a friend and decided actually I had probably been spiked. And I should probably go to hospital, because I thought that was where they tested for the drugs. So I took welfare taxi to the hospital. Got in the line. And they said, “We don’t test for any drugs. We can’t help you.” At that point I was going to walk away. And then the receptionist said, “Well, you’ve got an open wound on your head can we please look at that.” I stayed there for that. I asked about three times if they could test for drugs. And they just said, “No, we don’t do that. You have to go to the police”… It was weird in the hospital, because I’d gone there to be tested because I thought that [being drugged] was obviously the most pressing medical issue at that point, and then they just completely neglected it. They sort of passed over it as if it wasn’t important. It wasn’t something that they could deal with… It would make me feel more believed by them [to have been tested]…I think one of the nurses made a comment when I was there and I was telling her about it, and she said, “Oh, how I wish I was at an age where I could go on sports socials with rugby boys.” I was just thinking, I just told you that I’ve been drugged by these boys. I don’t think you mean that…Obviously I felt really violated, the fact that someone can do that to you is disgusting, I think. And then they were just worried about my head… I assume there were some health risks to the fact that I had [been drugged] and they just would not do anything about it…I still don’t know what was inside of me. The extreme effects that it had were really scary…It was really scary as well, knowing that it was probably inside of me in the morning, that there was this thing that I had taken and I didn’t know what it was.’

‘[I was] quite scared obviously. Also, I wouldn’t say I felt ashamed but I was in hospital, usually you’d call your parents…but I didn’t really want anyone to know. Because even though obviously it wasn’t my fault that I was spiked … I’d say, “I think I was spiked” and people would say, “Oh no, I don’t think you were. I think you probably just drank too much.” So then you second guess yourself.’

‘…and then was thinking, “Do I go to the police?” Because obviously they can maybe test, but by that time the drugs were probably out of me…I thought, “The police can’t do anything because there was a whole table of people, who’s going to know who spiked me?” I have no idea… There is a way you can report allegations to the university, but you have to name a person. You can’t report a sports team, so I couldn’t report it to the uni. [My college] brought it up in meetings and things but I don’t really know exactly how they did that. They spoke with the other colleges [whose sports teams were at the crew-date]. I think each person from the team that was there was fined, and told they had to leave accommodation early… but they were told it was for breaking COVID rules or something…That person just got away with it – there was nothing that happened. They were fined 100 pounds, but that’s the same as everyone else in that room.’

‘I was very, very concussed. I couldn’t walk in a straight line for a week…I’ve got a scar, but it’s actually on the eyebrow, so you can’t really see. But yeah, it was quite deep…I mean, for two weeks I couldn’t work on my degree. I couldn’t look at screens for a week. I was falling asleep in the middle of tutorials. Obviously, it wasn’t a direct effect of [the drugs given to me], but pretty much…It was quite a traumatic event. Not only for me, but for my friends who saw what I was like. I still don’t really like going back [to the restaurant] that much, though I still do…Probably one of the worst things that’s happened to me.’



A woman went to the ‘All Saints’ Bop held at Bridge nightclub

‘I went to a bop at bridge…The tickets were being sold in only seven colleges, I believe. It was the ‘All-Saints bop.’

She bought the ticket from her JCR after filling out a form via her university email to request one. This suggests everyone there was a student, or at least brought there by a student of one of the seven colleges.

‘They didn’t check bags – Bridge normally does.’

They checked ID – driver’s license not student ID. They didn’t have a metal detector.

‘I didn’t drink anything in the club at all. I suddenly felt like my head was very heavy. I couldn’t really stand still. So I went to the bathroom. I don’t remember an hour of the night, so I can’t really tell you what happened in that hour. But according to my friends, I told them “My arm hurts, it’s hurting, it’s hurting.” According to my friends I went up to them and I told them, “These guys are being very creepy.” I don’t remember that. Some other friend, who was drunk, told my friends that I was being groped. I don’t remember that as well.’

‘[My friends] realised that I wasn’t okay and they wanted to take me to A&E…I wasn’t really aware of what I was feeling. I was just very confused and I felt like going to sleep. My eyes were closing, I felt like falling asleep on the ground. I wasn’t thinking about being scared or stuff – I just wanted to go to bed…When we were going out [of the club], my friends told the bouncers, “My friend has been spiked.” They found a little ring in my arm. So, it was an injection because I didn’t – I didn’t drink anything. So couldn’t have been, you know, the oral. So, my friends told the bouncer that I had been spiked, and the bouncers kind of laughed, and told us, “I would get into a cab if I were you.” We made them aware that I was being spiked, but they didn’t care. But the club was closed at quarter past two and it was supposed to be closed at three. And according to people, because of rumours, three St. John’s girls were spiked as well. So I feel they were trying to get rid of everyone in the party to not take responsibility for what happened inside… My friends were getting me in [the cab], and this bouncer calls, says something like, “Oh, take care.” And he winks at me. I turn around to see the guy. I was very out of it…he made me turn around, then I turned and bumped my head into the cab. Yeah, he was winking. He was an asshole. Very concerning.’

Hitting her head on the cab as she turned to look at the bouncer gave her a concussion.

‘As soon as I got in the car everything went downhill. I lost consciousness. According to my friends I started crying…They had to put me in a wheelchair to take me to bed…Side effects were terrible. I puked. I passed out. I started shaking uncontrollably. I told my doctor about all these side effects I had and they told me it was either Valium, or some sort of type of drug like Xanax. That’s like… it’s not like a party drug. But it’s to make you go to sleep. And just… that’s the concerning part, that it was a student and they were trying to, you know….’

‘[Apparently] according to my symptoms, the dose was very high…I felt like I was still having side effects of the drug two days, two or three days after. I was feeling out of it. I almost got run over, it was terrible…I was walking and my blood pressure dropped when I was in the middle of the street. And I just felt the same feeling that I couldn’t hold my head up, and a car had to stop. It was terrible.’

‘I was very thankful the day after that I had that type of support system, that I had such amazing friends that realised and took me in. They stayed with me at A&E until 7am…But I felt really sad because a girl told me that I should take better care of myself because of how I look…[She said] I should take better care of myself and assume that things like that will happen based on how I look. It’s this type of mentality that I’m kind of worried about… I don’t think they’re blaming me. I don’t think that’s their intention. I feel they’re being realists to be like, we live in this type of world, you have to adapt to live in it and take care of yourself in it. I hope that’s their intention when they speak of my identity according to the situation.’

‘The issue of ethnicity is raised…It’s made me more aware of my differences between me and my peers. Being one of the only international students in my college – how that affects how people view me…[When speaking to the college nurse] ‘I told her about the comment of the girl and she said, “If I see you going out with a burqa from now on I’ll kill you.” Like joking. I didn’t think twice about it. And then my friend asked me what happened with the nurse, and I told my friend about what happened. She said, “That’s racist. Your dad is Palestinian, they know that you look a little bit Middle Eastern.”’

‘[When she initially asked for an email to be sent telling her college community what happened, to warn people of the danger.] The Dean said that they didn’t want to cause panic. An email would cause panic, and it wasn’t intelligent to do that.’

‘I have [been out] and I felt a little pinch in my back when I was out. I called my friend. I was like, “Check my back. Do I have a ring? Do I have a ring?” I was so nervous about that. That was the first time I felt – I am scared now. I am very much hyper aware of that happening again and my friends not being there this time. It definitely gets to you. But there’s not a lot you can do. Because if it happens, that there’s no way of avoiding it. It’s a syringe, it can be anywhere. You’re in a club, you’re being shoved it’s just impossible to… and I’m not going to spend my whole university experience locked in my room, you know, so there’s really no choice.’

‘I’ve had guys act very innocent, like nice people. They turned out to be the worst of the worst. So, I am learning to not assume things from people…The guy who spiked me is obviously insane, I’m not angry at him. I just think he’s a pathetic person and I feel kind of sorry for him because he can’t be alright. You can’t be okay and wish that on a person…There’s a part of me that is just disgusted and feels scared that that could happen again.’



Another woman went to her college bar, at St Johns, and then to the ‘All Saints’ bop at Bridge nightclub

‘It should have been that it could only be those seven colleges. But you could technically buy two tickets and give one to someone who is not part of the seven colleges…I know someone bought three tickets, one for themselves, and two for friends out of Oxford. So, as long as you had the actual paper ticket, you could give it to whoever you wanted to… I know two other people who got spiked in bridge that same night.’

‘I kept going back and forth between the marquee and the [St. John’s college] bar…I did leave [the drinks] unattended in the marquee because I thought, “It’s my college, I feel safe there. I feel safe around my friends.” At first, I was annoyed at myself for leaving my drinks unattended because I wouldn’t do that in a club. But then, I should feel safe in my own college to leave my drinks on the table for five minutes while I go talk to someone else… You don’t properly believe [this is a threat] until it happens to you…I remember suddenly being hit by, ‘Woah I’m really drunk’. Just like that. But at that point, I hadn’t even had half of each drink. It was probably a quarter of each drink. The last thing I remember is my friend saying to me, “Oh, let’s go to Bridge.” Then I woke up the next morning in my bed and I continuously vomited for the whole of the next day and had to go to A&E. Even on Thursday morning I was still sick.’

‘[A friend] had found me just dancing on my own…I ran to the toilet. And apparently I was sick…She went to find my friend [and when she returned] she found me at the entrance of Bridge on the sofa, because I’d been kicked out…Apparently, my eyes were rolled back. And she said it was quite scary and she said she genuinely thought that I’d taken something. But I’d never taken anything.’

‘From my memory, I had one drink. I checked my bank statement. I didn’t buy any drinks in Bridge. So, I don’t know if I’d had more drinks at Bridge that I didn’t buy. But to my knowledge I didn’t buy any more drinks. Then I realised I couldn’t even remember getting to Bridge, I can’t even remember leaving college. The last thing I remember is my friend saying to me, “Oh, let’s go to Bridge”. That’s literally all I can remember. It was outside the marquee.’

‘In the morning, when I called Beaumont Street [General Practice] the receptionist didn’t know what to do – she searched up on the internet what you’re supposed to do….[The GP] said go to the hospital so that they can test your blood. But hospitals don’t do that. Police stations do that. So I was really annoyed because the doctor told me to do that…[In A & E] I asked her, “Can you test for something in my blood? There is obviously something here.” And she said, “We don’t do that.” She said to maybe look around for community testing or something like that. It seemed like no one really knew what to do…I was going to go to the police to report it…but obviously by that time it was too late, because it had already been basically 24 hours…

Her college promised to contact the police on her behalf but didn’t. They later said that…

‘… “because there’s no toxicology report, there isn’t enough evidence for the police to be worthwhile to involve, because what can they do without toxicology report as evidence?”… I needed [the college] to contact the police. I needed them to do that. I needed them to do what they said they were going to do…I feel so unsafe now in my own college. Maybe it was someone who is not at Johns, but that person could still be there, and still spiking other people.’

‘The fact that it’s very hard to prove means people question whether you were actually spiked or just drank too much…I didn’t want it to seem like I was making up something dramatic…It’s scary to know that there was something in my system that just wasn’t supposed to be there. It could have been anything. Also, I was on my own at some point. I don’t know what maybe… I don’t know what I did, or what I could have done or what… anything could have happened.’

Spiking in Oxford: An Investigation

By Anna Dowell. Art by Millie Dean-Lewis.