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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.In the absence of hard data, it’s anecdotes that shape the conversation about online dating safety.

Not all people who report attacks mention whether an app was involved.

Victims, as well as perpetrators, hide crimes: Only an estimated 17% of all rapes, app-linked or not, are reported to police, the NCA said.

Women had flagged Lawrence to the site, but no single entity had been able to “join the dots” and prevent crimes taking place, he said. In an article in 2013 for Consumers Digest, Mandy Ginsberg, Match’s CEO, is quoted as saying: “is no different than society.

If you go out to a bar and meet someone that you don’t know, you should be careful.” But those who want to see the industry do more point out that online dating is different from society in one important sense: Users are paying to be there.

However, it puts most of that down to increased reporting and better recording by the police.

Better reporting, therefore, might also partly explain why internet dating assaults have increased in the UK.

All the same, the NCA noted that the incidents had a lot in common.

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.

Often on multiple apps at once, users can swipe through dozens of profiles every minute and plan multiple dates, whether in hopes of a love match or a hook-up.

Decisions to meet arise from limited information: A convenient location; a sultry glance captured in pixels; a mutual interest in “banter.” In 2014, Tinder users were spending as long as 90 minutes a day on the site.

But fake profiles abound, sexual predators use the sites, and some common online dating behavior—like meeting alone after scant acquaintance, sharing personal information, and using geolocation—puts users at risk.