The Federal Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP, will facilitate a roundtable discussion on Wednesday 25 January, to examine ways to better protect Australians when using online dating and matchmaking services.
The National Roundtable will include participation from state and territory governments, law enforcement, representatives from industry, NGOs and other key stakeholders.
Online dating and matchmaking websites and apps are a popular way for Australians to meet people. However, there is growing community concern about the instances of abuse, violence and other harmful activity reported by users.
In October, the Australian Institute of Criminology released a new report that reveals three in every four survey respondents had been victims of some form of sexual violence in the past five years, perpetrated by someone they communicated with on a dating app or website.
The national roundtable will bring together stakeholders to examine policy, regulatory and technology settings that can improve protections for those using online dating apps and websites, and stop perpetrators who are determined to exploit these services to cause harm.
Australians using dating apps should visit the website of the eSafety Commissioner who has developed practical advice and strategies for safer online dating at: www.esafety.gov.au/women/being-social/online-dating.
Quotes attributable to the Hon. Michelle Rowland MP, Minister for Communications:
“Every Australian deserves to live free from harassment and all forms of violence, including when using online dating and matchmaking services.
“Safety on dating apps has been a matter of growing community concern, with recent research by the AIC shining a light on the issue.
“A key focus of this discussion will be to look at what industry is doing to prevent the exploitation of their services by perpetrators, to identify what more could be done to improve the safety of users, and to consider what further action is required by government and industry to support this.”