Photo By: Noah Nickel via Brock Campus Store
*CONTENT WARNING: This article contains discussion of sexual assault.*
Drink spiking is a very serious threat for students at bars or parties where alcohol may be present. To raise awareness and provide an additional layer of protection, fourth-year business communication student, Mackenzie Rockbrune, has launched the sale of drink covers in collaboration with NightCap and the Brock Campus Store.
“Talking with my peers they all were concerned about [the possibility of drink spiking] and wanted a way to have a[n] extra layer of protection, so I thought it would be great to bring this product to our school and start a conversation around gender and sexual violence,” said Rockbrune.
NightCap drink covers provide a simple way for partygoers to keep their drinks from being tampered with. They are Brock-branded and attached to a scrunchie for convenient storage when not in use. They are currently available for purchase in person or online through the Campus Store website.
Drink spiking is an indictable offence as per the Canadian Criminal Code and has commonly been linked to drug-assisted sexual assault. A study conducted by Glasgow University in Scotland found that only 9 per cent of sexual violence perpetrators were strangers to the victim. In 91 per cent of cases, the victim had a pre-existing relationship with the perpetrator.
While drink covers are a short-term solution to the issue, Rockbrune, along with her colleagues at Brock Human Rights and Equity (HRE), hope that this initiative will help initiate conversations surrounding consent.
“Gender and sexual violence onus is always on the perpetrator, and these cup covers are a sad reality for many university students,” said Rockbrune. “I hope students see these covers out in the campus store or in bar settings and begin the conversation around gender-based violence and the importance for educating one another on the topic.”
Students interested in learning more are encouraged to attend HRE’s Gender and Sexual Violence support and education certificate program. The program runs throughout the school year, and students who participate qualify for Campus Wide Co-Curriculum credit through ExperienceBU.
Rockbrune and the HRE hope that this initiative, coupled with an increase in consent education, will help to create a culture of respect both on and off-campus.
$2 from each drink cover purchase will be donated to the Niagara Sexual Assault Centre, which provides support for victims of sexual assault. For more information on the Gender and Sexual Violence Support Certificate Workshops, how to register and a list of the other events that will be hosted by Brock HRE, you can visit their website.