Superintendent Alf Sergi from Leichhardt Police Area Command urged anyone who has been a victim or witness to sexual violence to come forward to police.
He said police “cannot investigate what we are unaware of” but would thoroughly investigate all reports of sexual violence.
He said the way in which people meet makes no difference when it comes to the issue of consent.
“The messaging about ‘consent’ is as equally consistent with dating apps as it is with any interaction that may potentially lead to sexual encounters. How you meet isn’t as relevant as the behaviour in person,” he said.
“Consent is a primary factor in every sexual assault, whether it be in an established relationship, a person you connected with on social media, or a complete stranger,” he said.
“Without consent, a person’s rights are violated, and a crime is being committed.”
Superintendent Sergi said dating apps and websites feature in few sexual assaults that are reported to police, but that “our experience with the online environment tells us that the anonymity of the internet would provide opportunity for sexual predators.”
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