Opinion: I was raped by a man I met on a dating app. Companies must do more for users – Yahoo!


Lily Goldberg is a native of Columbus and a graduate of The Ohio State University. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a focus on health behavior.

If you’ve ever done it dating apps usedyou know swiping almost feels like a game.

It’s fun to see who you match up with and where these matches can take you. But that’s the problem dating apps

We treat them like a game, and with games there are no serious implications. However, this assumption is false.

I experienced alarming consequences of using dating apps on Independence Day 2020 when I was raped by a man I met on a dating app.

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I started showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder after the assault, my depression worsened and my anxiety increased.

Unfortunately, I am not alone in my experiences.

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sexual violence, a general term for assault, abuse, harassment, rape, stalking and other abuse is very common on dating apps, with women and members of the LGBTQ+ community disproportionately affected.

Lily Goldberg is a native of Columbus and a graduate of The Ohio State University. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a focus on health behavior.

In a recent study from The Journal of Sex Research, 88.4% of college students surveyed had experienced at least one instance of sexual violence on a dating app. The Australian Institute of Criminology found similar results in their study, with three out of four respondents experiencing a case of sexual violence on a dating app.

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These data are alarming.

Even with these staggering statistics, there is only one known dating platform that has addressed the adverse effects of sexual violence on dating apps. Bumble recently partnered with Blooman app that provides trauma-informed care to victims of sexual violence.

The story continues

When a user experiencing sexual violence on Bumble, they can contact the company and get a free access code to use Bloom’s resources to heal themselves.

Those who receive the code can take three courses of self-determination: “Healing Sexual Trauma”, “Society, Patriarchy and Sexual Trauma” and “Dating, Boundaries and Relationships”.

These courses allow for maximum flexibility, as they are self-paced, and address financial limitations, which can be a major barrier to receiving any type of mental health treatment.

Unlike Bumble, Match Group (parent company of TinderHinge, Match.com, and others) do not offer any resources for survivors of sexual violence.

Match Group has resources Tinder as a panic button which can be used if the user feels insecure in a date. However, after an incident of sexual violence occurs, Match Group does nothing for the survivor.

Indeed, there have been witnesses of users who haven’t even heard back from Tinder after reporting sexual assault.

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The lack of response and failure to address the issue of sexual violence shows how little Match Group cares about the safety of its users.

That’s not to say Bumble tackles the problem perfectly.

In fact, I think all dating apps need to further innovate their sexual violence prevention strategies, but at least Bumble is willing to address the issue and aims to help survivors heal. Creating sexual violence prevention strategies will likely take time, so until then, providing resources to survivors is a step in the right direction.

In the United States, one in six women and one in 33 men have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.

In the United States, one in six women and one in 33 men have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.

Match Group should partner with an organization like Bloom to make changes in their handling sexual violence

Addressing in-app sexual violence isn’t just about preventing it, it’s about dealing with it when it happens. Not having the in-app resources to address what will inevitably happen when strangers meet strangers online is dangerous for all users.

Let’s stop ignoring victims of sexual violence and start blaming apps that do nothing to address the intensive issues survivors face.

Until Match Group properly addresses sexual violence in their app, I urge you to use Bumble, an innovative app to provide resources to survivors.

Lily Goldberg is a native of Columbus and a graduate of The Ohio State University. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a focus on health behavior.

Editor’s note: Goldberg did not report his assault.

This article originally appeared in The Columbus Dispatch: Lily Goldberg: What dating apps can do to protect users

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