Did you know that 61% of women killed by men in the UK in 2018 were killed by a current or ex-partner? We were shocked, too. Stats like this make you question where dating has gone wrong – and how we can put it right.
Love is a gamble, and we’re all in. But to make it a safe bet, it’s important to recognize and understand the dangers and red flags that manifest throughout your dating journey.
So, here’s the situation.
Crime is moving online, cloaked in anonymity
It’s a typical evening at home. You have all the essentials for binging on Netflix – a phone in one hand and snacks in the other. This is our comfort zone. There’s no reason to feel at risk. But, we are still connected to the social world through our phones. And that’s the window of opportunity criminals use to tug on the heartstrings of singletons while their guards are down.
Criminals and trolls alike use online anonymity to seduce men and women with fake profiles. This is known as ‘catfishing’ and creates all kinds of problems in your dating life. Research suggests that you can fall in love with someone behind a screen, which means until everyone is fully verified on dating apps, those feelings can be exploited without recourse.
Di Pogson is one of thousands who were scammed £70 million in total from romance fraud in 2020. She lost her life savings but thankfully came to no physical harm.
Looking back on her online dating experience, after falling for a man who didn’t really exist, she said, “I always had in the back of my mind that I would never, ever be conned. I was too savvy.”
Sometimes feelings lead to regrettable choices (we’ve all been there), and this is exacerbated by a lack of accountability for perpetrators.
Trends like this continue. BBC 5 Live Investigates revealed that crimes involving dating apps have doubled in some parts of the UK in recent years.
Early warnings arose in 2016 when reporting of crimes relating to online dating increased sevenfold, with accusations of sexual assault, grooming and attempted murder. Of course, these crimes take place offline. But without safeguards in place, it has become easier than ever to:
- Retrieve personal information such as phone numbers.
- Identify and stalk someone.
- Commit crime without a traceable identity.
- Create new accounts after getting banned from a platform.
- Verbally abuse and share inappropriate content without consequences.
Over 200 million people use online dating to spice up their love life. And for good reason. It gives you control to hand-pick your ideal match and warm up to them before deciding to meet or exchange personal information. But we don’t think it’s too much to ask for good and honest vibes on a safe platform.
Fluttr is one of the first dating apps to require full ID verification for all members, so everyone has accountability. No room to hide for illegal activity and bad behaviour. And that, my friends, is where the real fun begins…