The online environment could also lull users into thinking they know someone, and therefore making themselves vulnerable.To date, much of the research on online dating has been conducted by dating companies themselves.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.In the absence of hard data, it’s anecdotes that shape the conversation about online dating safety.
The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, conducted by the US government, last collected data in 2011 and will publish an update this year, but doesn’t ask questions about online dating.
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.
In Britain, attacks related to online dating increased almost six-fold over roughly the same period.
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.