Report: More Rapes are Being Reported by Victims who Met their Attackers on Online Dating App

A new study has connected the rise in online dating to an increase in rapes related to online dating.

The National Crime Agency in U.K. said they found an increase in the number of people that were raped during their first face-to-face meeting following initial contact through an online dating websites.

Women made up 85% of the victims reported.

The study found people feel protected online and their communication can escalate rapidly to become sexual in nature, leading to mismatched expectations when they meet for the first time.

There was some evidence of coercion and persuasion being used by offenders to encourage (often reluctant) victims to meet sooner than they would like, and 43% of first face-to-face meetings took place within one week of the initial contact being made online.

71% of rapes that occurred on the first face-to-face meeting following online contact were committed at the victim’s or offender’s residence.

"Dating services account for about a third of all new relationships and the friendships, romances, marriages and families that these bring about,” said George Kidd, Chief Executive of the Online dating Association.

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