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John Leech thinks the situation is new, and dangerous.
A local council member in Manchester, in the north of England, Leech this year launched a campaign to make online dating companies commit to keeping their users safer.
Women had flagged Lawrence to the site, but no single entity had been able to “join the dots” and prevent crimes taking place, he said. In an article in 2013 for Consumers Digest, Mandy Ginsberg, Match’s CEO, is quoted as saying: ”is no different than society.
If you go out to a bar and meet someone that you don’t know, you should be careful.”But those who want to see the industry do more point out that online dating is different from society in one important sense: Users are paying to be there.
All the same, the NCA noted that the incidents had a lot in common.
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.
If the US and UK are experiencing the same trends, then online dating is indeed becoming more dangerous.
Then again, they may not be experiencing the same trends.
Of course, sexual assaults related to online dating may be on the rise just because online dating itself is on the rise.In 2011 began screening US members against a database of known sex offenders, after a woman who said she had been raped brought a class-action lawsuit against the site.In the UK, Match was also implicated in the case of serial rapist Jason Lawrence, who in 2016 was convicted of raping or assaulting seven women he met on the site, after contacting thousands.Not all people who report attacks mention whether an app was involved.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.
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.