Sinn Féin West Belfast Assembly members Sue Ramsey and Jennifer McCann are calling for the Minister of Health to make date rape prevention kits available free of charge in response to the growing problem of drinks being spiked.
They have tabled a motion that will be debated by the Assembly this week.
Ms Ramsey said:
"Not just in West Belfast but across Ireland and beyond there is growing concern that there are sexual predators out there that are spiking the drinks of people out for a night with all kinds of different drugs.
"The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs states clearly that drug facilitated sexual assault, including with alcohol, is a significant problem. However, all of the research also highlights the fact that excessive drinking is a real problem.
"The effects of these different drugs, including Rohypnol, GBH, illegal drugs such as Ecstasy, cocaine and Ketamine as well as alcohol, can be instant and can leave an individual very vulnerable.
"It is vital that where we know that there are ways of making this activity harder, for example by making date rape prevention kits available free of charge, that we do this. FASA (Forum for Action on Substance Abuse) have also produced the 'Spika Stoppa' device which makes it more difficult to tamper with a bottled drink.
"Crucially we need to raise public awareness about drink spiking.
"This is the festive season and there will be many more people out enjoying themselves. We need to do everything we can to make sure that a night out doesn't end up as a nightmare.
"Staff in bars and clubs also need to keep a responsible eye out for their patrons and people need to be aware of the possible dangers when they go out and take particular care if they are alone or become separated from their friends." ENDS
Note to Editors
The Roofie Foundation reports that 675 cases of drug rape and sexual assault were reported its help line in 2006, including 40 from the north.