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Image / Editorial

New survey finds 88% of women have been harassed while using dating apps


by Erin Lindsay
05th Mar 2020
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2,321 women worldwide were surveyed about their use of dating apps


A new survey carried out on women who use dating apps has revealed that almost 90% have been harassed while using them.

The survey, carried out by cybersecurity news website CyberNews.com, questioned 2,321 women worldwide about their experiences of using dating apps ahead of International Women’s Day.

A huge 91% of women reported being called an offensive name while using a dating app, while 67% reported receiving unwanted explicit photos.

74% of the women surveyed reported someone continuing to contact them after they had expressed not being interested, while 71% of women say that they fear being stalked by someone they’re talking to online.

Worryingly, 38% of those surveyed said they were threatened with physical harm while using an app, with 48% reporting that someone they had talked to had made them fear for their safety.

CyberNews.com questioned some women about their worst experiences using dating apps, and the answers were disturbing. One woman, who is using the name Esther, reported blocking a man who continued to message her aggressively after she had stopped replying. He then messaged her from another number, calling her a b*tch.

Women’s Aid

Technology can be a major factor in dating, domestic and sexual abuse. A 2019 campaign put together by Women’s Aid highlighted the popularity of technology in young people’s dating lives, with abusive partners using mobile phones and social media to stalk, monitor and control partners.

Research from Women’s Aid shows that 60% of abusive relationships in Ireland start before the age of 25.

A whopping 20,722 disclosures of domestic abuse were made to Women’s Aid in 2018, including forms of cyber-harassment such as untrue rumours being spread; sexually explicit/pornographic photos being shared online, and even advertising women as escorts without their consent or knowledge.

At the time of the research, Sarah Benson, CEO of Women’s Aid, said: “In our experience, women who are victims of partner harassment often experience a mix of ‘traditional’ and cyber-harassment… he may follow and watch her, access and modify her online data, post graphic and humiliating lies and/or intimate images on the internet without consent, make threatening communications of various types (letters, SMS, phone calls, posts), or install spyware on her personal electronic devices.

Consequences for victims can be very severe, both psychologically and practically… Women need full protection urgently from this insidious and harmful abuse.”

If you feel concerned about your usage of dating apps, the Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline is available seven days a week at 1800 341 900. If you feel that you may be in immediate danger, contact the Gardaí on 999 or 112.


Read moreCoercive control: 10 warning signs and where to go for help

Read moreThis new campaign is highlighting how financial abuse affects women in Ireland

Read more: The trauma of childhood sexual abuse: ‘I refuse to be part of that secret anymore’

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