Queensland Police have formed a partnership with Tinder, launching a dating safety campaign after a rise in sexual assaults linked with social media platforms.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll says the unique collaboration will provide a safety net for Queenslanders after they swipe right. Over eight weeks, Queensland users of the app will receive tips to increase awareness on dates as well as reporting and support options.
Over the next two months, Queensland Police will appear as a potential ‘match’ for local users, along with information on how they can remain safe on online dating platforms, where they can report a sexual assault, and what to be aware of when returning to physical dating. It also aims to remove the tag of ‘victim blaming’, trusting your instinct when it comes to meeting people, and that it’s ok to want different things from matching on online dating platforms.
Ms Carroll said: “What we saw is a clear increase in reporting of online dating and sexual offending. We thought let’s go straight to the source and start having a great discussion on how we make this platform safer for everyone.“
Ms Carroll said Queensland Police decided “enough was enough” after a jump in assaults in the state.
Queensland Police are also developing a “law enforcement portal” with Tinder that looks set to help identify and investigate offenders using different profiles.
Kerrin Bradfield, a spokesperson from the Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence said the Tinder campaign would help remove “victim blaming” while providing proactive safety tips for dates.
“Things like telling people where you are going, taking screen shots of people you are chatting with, meeting in public places, making sure you have a way home,” she said.
“If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut, you can leave anytime. But whether people implement all of those strategies, some of them or none of them, it is still not their fault if an assault happens and they can reach out for support and report to the police.“
A spokesperson from Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, said: “Offensive and violating behaviour have no place on Tinder. We’re committed to protecting our members. We know that safety is complex and personal and we approach it in several different angles because keeping our members safe is paramount with anything that we do.“