CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses rape.
A joint investigation by Four Corners and Triple J Hack has revealed how rapists and other sexual predators have been blocking or unmatching with survivors on Tinder in order to escape justice.
The unfortunate truth is that rapists are active online just as they are offline, and they’re often hard to track down. But one precaution we can take when using dating apps is to screenshot the other person’s profile.
That way, if the unthinkable does happen, you could still have their name and photos to file a report.
One survivor, Brooke, said she couldn’t report her rape to police because she didn’t have enough evidence to prove they had actually met after her rapist blocked her.
“I didn’t have his number, I didn’t know his last name, I didn’t have any photos or proof that we’d even spoken,” she said.
“So it would be like I’d just picked a random guy out, almost, and said that he’d done this.”
She only realised he had blocked her the following day.
“I guess that was probably the main reason that I didn’t go to the police,” she added.
It’s also a good idea to store those screenshots somewhere else, like in the cloud or on a computer. In Brooke’s case, her phone was thrown out of a car window by the rapist.
She was one 174 people who told Four Corners and Hack they experienced sexual harassment or assault on Tinder.
Out of them, 48 said they reported the other person, however only 11 said they heard back from the app.
Another woman who shared her story, Beth, wants the app to make it harder for rapists to evade being caught online.
“Tinder I think has a huge responsibility to understand that their whole app is causing people to be vulnerable time and time again,” she said.
PEDESTRIAN.TV reached out to Tinder for comment, but a spokesperson did not reply in time for publication.
Of course, a screenshot alone won’t stop abusers, and it’s even possible to use fake photos and a fake name.
However as a precaution, it could be a massive help in filing a police report if something does go seriously wrong on or after a Tinder date.
You can watch the full investigation and hear from more survivors here.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.
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