Dating apps often come up in sex assault cases; Police investigating
Perpetrators of sexual violence may be finding their victims through dating apps. These apps often appear in the stories victims tell the Center for Sexual Violence, director Iva Bicanic told program Zembla. The Dutch police launched a major investigation into how often apps like Tinder come up in cases of sexual violence, the police said to the program.
"All sixteen our regional departments have had to deal with victims who were raped or assault during a date started via a dating app," Bicanic told Zembla, adding that gay men in particular seem to be targeted in this way. "What we know is the tip of the iceberg. We think that there are many more people who are victims, but do not contact us because of shame and guilt. Because we all supposedly know that you should not meet a Tinder date at home. But do it anyway."
When Zembla contacted the police and asked about dating app rapes, a spokesperson confirmed that a major investigation is underway. They would not give details, but said that the police want to gain better insight into the way in which perpetrators use dating apps like Tinder.
Tinder told the program that it is already in contact with Bicanic and will continue to work with the Center for Sexual Violence on a "support function" for the Dutch version of Tinder. The company said that its users' safety has top priority and it is in the process of making adjustments and improvements to the app to help promote this.
Tinder also said that the app will get a "safety center" in the Netherlands, which will provide users with easier access to tools that improve safety while using the app.
Zembla's broadcast on Thursday evening will be on this topic. In the episode, victims will tell about their experiences with sexual violence from Tinder dates and how easily perpetrators can disappear into anonymity afterwards.