Online dating apps are now on the rise in terms of both their number and popularity. But, while there are many users who were able to find their happiness through these apps, there is also an alarming number of women who reported that dating sites have become a breeding ground for sexual harassment against them.
A shocking 57% of women and 21% of men reported their experiences of harassment upon joining online dating, as based on an opt-in survey conducted this 2016. The frequency of these experiences was found to range from one or two times to always.
Alexandra Tweeten was one of those women who stepped out and revealed that she received lots of harassing messages which can be considered as hateful and sexist while she was using these dating apps.
As her way to fight back, Tweeten created Bye Felipe, an Instagram page with the main goal of publicly shaming her online suitors who harassed her. On the broader problem of online sexual harassment Tweeten also initiated a change.org petition, where she asks Facebook to ban posting or sending illicit pictures through the social networking site.
According to her, not all men harass women but every woman you know has probably experienced being harassed at one point or another.
In 2013, a report has revealed that 42% of women 18 years old and above who join online dating services report contact through apps and sites which made them feel uncomfortable and harassed. Then, another study in 2014 regarding online harassment in general found on that young ladies of 18 to 24 years old suffer from severe forms of harassment at incredibly high levels. About 26 percent of them claimed that they were stalk while the other 25 percent said that they suffered from online sexual harassment.
Earlier this year, a young woman showed in public how even something as what was supposed to be an inoffensive item like her headphones could already ignite vulgar sexual advances online. The women posted a photo of her new pair of headphones on the social site Snapchat and informed the media that she actually received several obscene comments as a response to the bland photo, such as it would be heaven if she will only wear the headphones and nothing else. As a response, she then took to Twitter where she posted the original photo side by side the sexual comment, and this photo has gone viral.
Obviously, it was not the woman’s fault that she got such comments. The fault lies in the person who sent the comments. A privately practicing clinical psychologist said that for her, sexual harassment on the dating apps is now an unhealthy part of the world of dating apps. She also claimed that the best way of fighting this trend is by encouraging the victims to report cases of sexual harassment instead of tolerating them or shrugging them off.
While there is no way that dating apps can be stopped in their popularity, women can stop sexual harassment through speaking up.
men can stop sexual harassment through speaking up.