“Victims of Domestic Violence are most commonly blamed when they are abused” – San Louis Obispo Women’s Shelter Program
Domestic abuse is at an all time high over the past 25 years. With the advent of technology, it is even easier to get yourself into a situation or meet someone via an online dating site that could turn into a potential nightmare. Which is why are taking this opportunity to help women be safe when it comes to online dating sites. We decided to embark on this path due to the increasing rates of domestic violence in America. We feel that a good portion of this is due to various dating sites that either do not vet their members out, or women who are lied to by men who have bad intentions. There are organizations that are set up to help educate women regarding online dating safety. There are other online dating coupon sites(eHarmony) that promote safe alternatives to dating sites. We realize that each and every dating site out there cannot physically vet each member (and still run as a profitable enterprise), we ask that they put in some standards such as government ID verification (one suggestion) or even background checks for their members. Keeping women safe in an online dating site can be a challenge, since a good portion of domestic abuse goes unreported out of fear or ignorance that a crime has been actually committed. We challenge these dating sites to employ more safeguards to help keep their members safe and educate them that “no really means no”. While progress has been made over the years we feel that they can do more to combat the social issue. Of course, a good portion of the responsibility is on the shoulders of the women. They should not put themselves into situations that are unsafe. But how can they ascertain when a situation is save vs. unsafe? Common sense should dictate the actions of online daters. For example, if you are asked to go to a bar for drinks on a date, if you accept, you should have transportation arranged prior. This way you will not be forced to make important decisions while inebriated (such as “should I go home with this guy I just met?). Another fail-safe method is to work on the buddy system. Have a girlfriend of yours keep tabs on your date as the night progresses. Check in every hour or so and even have her call you to check up on you. If you decide to leave the bar and go home with the guy you just met, be sure to let your friend know. Being that technology is so prevalent in our daily lives, you can take full advantage of it. Most if not all smart phones come with GPS. There are many applications out there that you can download for free that will post your exact location to anyone you give access to. They will be able to see your location on Google Maps in real time. Adding a passcode to your phone ensures another level of security. While these suggestions (given to us by our members) will not stop dating violence in its tracks, you can be sure that it will help you stay and remain safe while utilizing the various online dating sites out there.