To date, much of the research on online dating has been conducted by dating companies themselves.
In the US, the FBI collects data about so-called romance fraud and about online “sexploitation,” but data about physical assault linked to dating sites is scant.
The study didn’t prove that apps led to abuse, the authors wrote, but they found the association “alarming.” They hypothesized that app users might expose themselves more to people who are sexually coercive.
The online environment could also lull users into thinking they know someone, and therefore making themselves vulnerable.
Callers must have a name and ONE identifier to find out if the individual is a registered sex offender in New York State.
If the US and UK are experiencing the same trends, then online dating is indeed becoming more dangerous.
Dating companies are being pushed to better protect users, but some seem reluctant to do more— or even to talk about whether there’s a problem.
John Leech thinks the situation is new, and dangerous.
Victims, as well as perpetrators, hide crimes: Only an estimated 17% of all rapes, app-linked or not, are reported to police, the NCA said.
Nevertheless, while app-related assaults were still rare, they were rising fast enough for the NCA to flag the emergence of “a new type of sexual offender.” Usually a man, he’s less likely than other sexual offenders to have committed any kind of crime before, but instead exploits the “ease of access and arm-chair approach” to meeting people that dating sites enable.