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Nevertheless, while app-related assaults were still rare, they were rising fast enough for the NCA to flag the emergence of “a new type of sexual offender.” Usually a man, he’s less likely than other sexual offenders to have committed any kind of crime before, but instead exploits the “ease of access and arm-chair approach” to meeting people that dating sites enable.
Of course, sexual assaults related to online dating may be on the rise just because online dating itself is on the rise.
Bumble requires women to flip the presumption that men are the dating aggressors.
Better reporting, therefore, might also partly explain why internet dating assaults have increased in the UK.
But Leech wants other protections, like giving users alerts about potential risks before they ever begin chatting with strangers.
Is this scaremongering, or is online dating truly putting users in danger?
In the US, overall incidents of sexual violence have fallen by 63% since 1993, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
By contrast, the UK’s Office for National Statistics has recorded an increase in sexual assaults since 2012.
It found that women who sent the first message were 2.5 times more likely to receive a response than men who did the same.