Minister hosts panel discussion on abuse of dating apps



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The high number of sexual assaults caused by dating apps will be in the spotlight this week, with advocates and the government working together to push for reform.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland will convene the online dating roundtable on Wednesday after calls for reform surged last month when a NSW man was charged with murdering a woman he met online .

According to police, he had a long history of domestic violence.

The case prompted calls for reforms to prevent people with known violent backgrounds from signing up to dating apps.

Three-quarters of Australian Institute of Criminology respondents had experienced some form of online sexual assault in the past five years.

A third experienced personal abuse from someone they met on an app, with 27% reporting incidents of sexual assault or coercion, including alcohol use.

Social Affairs Minister Amanda Rishworth, e-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, state and territory ministers and representatives from dating apps such as Match, Bumble and Grindr will attend.

The roundtable is about preventing misuse of online dating services, supporting aggrieved users and working to improve the safety of online dating.

This includes whistleblowing processes, support for victims of abuse and policies to hold perpetrators accountable.

“We need to make sure platforms have the right safeguards for those who use them and effective mechanisms to report an incident if something goes wrong,” said Ms. Rowland.

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