Online dating is behind an increase in rapes

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Charity seeing more people being raped through meetings arranged on the internet 

30th August 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Online dating is behind an increase in rapes, Rape Crisis Scotland is warning.  

More than 160 people reported being raped on a first or second date last year.

Police have launched an awareness campaign - #Get Consent - to warn sex without consent is rape. It is mostly aimed at men aged 18-35, the peak age for offending.

There were 2,293 rapes recorded in Scotland. The perpetrator was the partner or former partner of the victim in 35% of cases.

However almost 11% of all rapes are committed by someone other than a partner or ex-partner.

Sandy Brindley, national co-ordinator of Rape Crisis Scotland, said the charity was seeing more people come to it after being raped through online dating.

She said: "Even if there was some consensual activity - drinking or you go out for dinner with somebody - it does not mean that somebody is entitled to sex."

She added: "We do hear of people where they meet somebody on the first date, and it does turn out that the person isn't who they've said they were online and sadly it does end in a rape taking place.

"I think this is just as significant and serious a crime as what has traditionally been seen as a stranger rape - somebody jumping out from behind a bush - because it is very deliberate and calculated targeting."

Gillian MacDonald, assistant chief constable, said the police campaign was aimed at people in bars and clubs as well as online activity.

"Dating apps and websites have featured amongst the reports.

"So we have identified that following on from initial contact online there has perhaps been a period of messaging and flirting via text messages or direct messages, resulting in a first physical meeting, a first date, and that's when the rape's occurred."

Police Scotland’s campaign will feature posters in phone boxes and club washrooms and will run on social media platforms.