For the past decade, online dating has been on the rise in Canada. With all of the dating apps and sites out there like Bumble, Match.com, Hinge, Tinder, Grindr, eHarmony, OkCupid, POF (the list goes on!), it is no wonder that finding that special someone seems easier online than finding them through friends or in person.
But, there are dangers in meeting people online. Online dating puts you in a trusting position; you want to trust the people that you meet online since you are looking for an intimate relationship. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who try to take advantage of those looking for love in the digital world. People can create fake profiles to lure and exploit others who are using the site or app. Sexual, financial, emotional and verbal abuse are common ways that violent people take advantage of people who they secure trust from on these apps and sites.
Huron DART wants to help keep you safe when online dating. Although technology makes it easier for us to find romance in the digital world, we want to bring awareness towards the dangers that online dating can bring to you. Here are some tips and tricks to stay safe online.
February 18, 2021
Huron DART wants to bring awareness towards online dating violence in Huron County. Romance scams and encounters with violent people online are not uncommon. There are services available to help. For local supports, see below or head to our partners page.
It is common for people to lie about their appearance, living situation, and career on dating sites. People can also lie to gain your trust. Be skeptical, and listen to your instincts. Honesty is a key part of healthy relationships.
Perpetrators of digital violence frequently target young people. Young people are commonly lured by scammers and violent people on dating sites. Play it safe. See more tips for staying safe online below.
Getting Started with Online Dating
Connecting Online with Potential Dates
Be careful meeting people during COVID-19. Remember to follow public health safety protocols before making plans to meet IRL: www.hpph.ca
Do I feel safe and comfortable?
Do I know enough about them?
Is the place we are going a well known, well lit place?
Have I told someone I trust that I am going?
Online dating makes it difficult for you to know exactly who it is you’re talking to. Violent people often feel untouchable when abusing people online since they are hiding through a screen. Always trust your instincts, and remember to look out for red flags when meeting people online:
Is someone making you feel uncomfortable? You can block that person at any time to end all communication with them. If you are experiencing online harassment, talk to someone you trust. Document the violence, and contact the police.
Online dating apps and sites have safety protocols in place to keep you safe. If you experience harassment online, you can report that user to site managers to prevent the violence from happening to another person. Remember, the law and managers of these dating services are on your side and want to ensure your safety when you’re dating online. If you experience harassment, immediately block and report that person.
If you meet someone online and it seems too good to be true, trust your instincts.
Be skeptical. It’s okay to ask someone for more information. If you cannot trust them, do not go against your instincts. It’s okay to say “no” if they ask you for more information than you are comfortable with revealing, and it’s okay to block or delete people that make you feel uncomfortable. Remember: you have the right to carefully pick and choose who to share your time with. There are “plenty of fish” in the sea, and you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.
If you have experienced harassment online or were mistreated by someone, reach out for support:
Huron Women’s Shelter
OPP non-emergency line
Victim Services Huron
During COVID-19 our partners continue to provide services to support members of Huron County affected by violence.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger from violence, call 911.
For emergency shelter and safety planning call Huron Women’s Shelter’s 24/7 information and support line: 1-800-265-5506.