Then again, they may not be experiencing the same trends.
In the US, overall incidents of sexual violence have fallen by 63% since 1993, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
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).
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.
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.
In the absence of hard data, it’s anecdotes that shape the conversation about online dating safety.
The online environment could also lull users into thinking they know someone, and therefore making themselves vulnerable.Most everyone in America has heard of Tinder, even if they haven’t used it.Many more swipe-friendly dating apps have followed in its popular wake, but still, singles are finding the dating app scene to be a little daunting, more than a little tiring, and would just like to meet someone more organically.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.