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Sexual harassment, aggression and violence victimisation among mobile dating app and website users in Australia

Online harassment Online dating Sexual harassment Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Sexual assault Internet applications Australia

Use of mobile dating apps and websites has increased exponentially in the past 10 years. While these platforms create opportunities to develop and pursue social, romantic and/ or sexual relationships, both online and in the real world, media reporting and broader commentary has raised concerns about users being subjected to high levels of sexual harassment, aggression and violence.

The current study surveyed 9,987 dating app or website users in Australia to explore the prevalence and nature of dating app facilitated sexual violence (DAFSV) victimisation within the sample. Findings revealed that three-quarters of users were subjected to online DAFSV, and a third were subjected to in-person DAFSV, perpetrated by someone they met on a dating app or website. Users often experienced repeat victimisation. DAFSV victimisation was particularly common among LGB+ communities. This study provides valuable information to aid development of policies and practices to prevent the occurrence and recurrence of DAFSV.

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AIC Research Report 25