Most notably, 72% were carried out in the home of either the victim or the perpetrator, and 41% of the dates that led to assaults started at home, rather than moving there after an initial meeting somewhere else.
That’s despite dating advice that stresses the importance of meeting new people in public. A 2016 study of 666 students in Hong Kong found that about half used dating apps, and those who did were twice as likely as non-users to suffer “sexual abuse” of some kind (defined on a scale that included, for example, being coerced into unprotected sex, and rape).
Then again, they may not be experiencing the same trends.
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Of course, sexual assaults related to online dating may be on the rise just because online dating itself is on the rise.
But here’s one telling, albeit only suggestive, comparison: The Pew Research Center found that between 20 the proportion of American adults using dating services tripled.
Is this scaremongering, or is online dating truly putting users in danger?
The trouble is that statistics on crimes linked to online dating are sparse.
Callers must have a name and ONE identifier to find out if the individual is a registered sex offender in New York State.
Often on multiple apps at once, users can swipe through dozens of profiles every minute and plan multiple dates, whether in hopes of a love match or a hook-up.
By contrast, the UK’s Office for National Statistics has recorded an increase in sexual assaults since 2012.
However, it puts most of that down to increased reporting and better recording by the police.
Decisions to meet arise from limited information: A convenient location; a sultry glance captured in pixels; a mutual interest in “banter.” In 2014, Tinder users were spending as long as 90 minutes a day on the site.
But fake profiles abound, sexual predators use the sites, and some common online dating behavior—like meeting alone after scant acquaintance, sharing personal information, and using geolocation—puts users at risk.
Individuals can register up to three locations, either by county/municipality, zip code or specific address, or any combination of those three options, for which they would like to receive relocation alerts.