Whether you’re into Grindr, Scruff, Tinder, Her, Bumble, Hornet or Growlr, there is nothing unusual about using dating apps to find dates and sex. Millions of people use these apps daily and the majority never experience any incidents but with people being targeted and attacked using dating apps, it helps to know how to increase your safety and lower your odds of being the victim of such incidents.
Following the news that a gay man was beaten with hammers after being lured on Grindr in Dublin, MSM Programme Manager for HIV Ireland Adam Shanley has shared some advice on how to increase your safety and reduce the risk of abuse via dating apps:
Shanley said: “The vast majority of the time, using hook-up apps like Grindr is a fun and pleasurable experience. However, on occasion, things can go wrong. Anyone can potentially become a victim, no matter how experienced, savvy or safe an app user you are. Here are some tips that can help keep you safe from abuse committed via apps.”
Do Some Research
Getting a face pic is important but a photo can’t always be trusted. Do a bit of googling before meeting someone – what do you know about the person, have you friends in common on social media?;
Tell a Friend
Let a friend know you’re going to hook-up / date. Plan a time that you’ll check in with them to let them know its going well or a safe word to text if you need help;
Meet in Public
Meet somewhere public with people around and take a few minutes to chat – if you get the gut feeling that something isn’t right, no matter when that might be, make your excuses and leave;
Use Find My Friends
Keep your phone and GPS on and share your live location with a friend – this makes it possible for friends (or police) to know where you are if you need help. If you don’t have the Find My Friends app which is only available on iOS, you can share your location with a friend on WhatsApp.
If something happens – report it! If you’ve been the victim of abuse or crime by someone you met via an app report it to the police and to the app too. The Call it Out website provides specific advice on reporting hate crime after the fact.
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