New Zealander Zoe Garrett has created a Squarespace blog called ‘Date Safe’ that Kiwi women can use to keep one another informed about unsafe dates.
The blog was inspired in part by online information sharing between sex workers in other countries. Some of these channels have been forced to close by controversial FOSTA / SESTA legislation in the USA, potentially putting women at greater risk.
Garrett, 29, launched the initiative after hearing about the murder of British backpacker Grace Millane in early December – there is some speculation that an online date was involved in the case.
She told Newshub: “I discovered a friend had been on a date with the alleged [killer] a year ago and had had concerns, a friend of a friend was in the same position, another friend almost went on a date with him.”
She is reportedly still working out how much information she can legally share about men on dating apps in New Zealand.
The format bears some resemblance to the “S****y Media Men” list which garnered attention in early 2018. That spreadsheet saw women anonymously post allegations of varying severity about men they had worked with in the past.
Victor Navasky, former editor of the Nation, said of that list: “I have double feelings. I believe it’s very good to raise people’s consciousness about how women have been abused in the marketplace. But from my study of the blacklist and the McCarthy hearings, I think lists are dangerous.”
Garrett says “It would be great to get the conversation flowing” with regards to the list, and notes that she appreciates any feedback on her Squarespace page.
Read more here.