Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dating app leads to gang-rape

Police are warning online daters to be careful of meeting with strangers after a tourist was gang-raped after being introduced to a man she met on mobile dating app Tinder.

Sex crime detectives say the 28-year-old woman had flown to Sydney from New Zealand for business when she decided to meet up with a man she initially met through the dating app on Saturday night.

Read rest on Stuff.
This is not the first time the dating app Tinder has courted negative publicity recently, specifically in regards to attacks on women using the service.

A few simple precautions should be taken to minimise risks when meeting people for the first time, particularly when the arrangements were made through social networking and dating sites or services that allow users to maintain their anonymity online.

Obtain personal details that can be verified 

If a person is unwilling to provide any personal details, ask yourself what are they trying to hide? In our experience, we have uncovered people who have lied about their age, martital or relationship status, and even gender! Not everyone is who they say they are and a little information to establish you are communicating with a real person is vital.

Meet in a public place for the first time

Keep your first date public and preferably let someone know what your plans are. Perhaps arrange to contact a friend after the date has ended and you have arrived safely home.

Ensure you have backup plan / way home

Make sure you have enough money home for a taxi or have arranged calling a friend to pick you up, particularly if the date ends early or unexpectedly.

Minimise alcohol consumption

Alcohol is the predominant 'date-rape drug'. Moderate your drinking, preferably purchase your own and do not leave half-finished drinks unattended.

If you feel unconfortable or unsafe, leave 

If that person isn't who they said they were, or who you thought they were, leave. You don't need to politely stay for the rest of the date - they have lied to you from the beginning.
Some of these steps would appear to be incompatible with the purpose of casual encounters, however, it would be sensible to have at least some kind of strategy in place for personal safety. 

We're not saying you need to hire a private investigator to check up on whether your prospective date is exactly who he, or she, say they are - but this is a task we have performed a number of times, particularly in regards to long-distance online relarionships where the parties have yet to meet in person.

At the end of the day, you are the person responsible for your own safety.

However, if you do want to talk to us about screening a date or some other service, feel free to contact us to see if we can be of assistance.