Home dating industry Dating Online Beware: Boyfriends Are More Likely To Be Violent Than Husbands

Dating Online Beware: Boyfriends Are More Likely To Be Violent Than Husbands


Anna met her ex boyfriend on the OkCupid IAC dating app,
in August 2012. Her first message was simple, just a “Hey”, and they ended up meeting for a date a few days after their date. It was just another romantic New York story from a couple who met online, but not in the way she had hoped for.

Over the next year, he became manipulative and emotionally abusive. In October 2013, Anna said he started to physically abuse her. After a particularly violent incident, Anna (not her real name) left him, but did not bring any charges for fear of reprisals. What she didn’t know then was that federal laws wouldn’t have protected her if she had.

“I had no idea the laws wouldn’t have protected me – it’s pretty horrible,” she said. “I temporarily left the state because of all of this and I am very grateful to have a support network that allowed me to do so.

Women who go out are more likely to be at risk of domestic violence than married women – and have less protection. The most common and serious interpersonal violence occurs in romantic relationships, not in marriages, a new study from the University of Pennsylvania published in the journal Preventive Medicine found. Intimate partner violence costs the United States more than $ 5.8 billion a year, according to the Center for Disease Control, including $ 900 million in lost productivity at work.

More than 80% of violent altercations in the city have occurred among unmarried couples, according to a survey of more than 31,000 City of Philadelphia police reports. Less than 15% concerned current spouses and only 3.5% former spouses. Nationally, more than half of intimate violence incidents are reported to police. Abuse within these couples was also more likely to involve more extreme violence, including shoving, strangling and the use of weapons.

Research shows that more laws should exist to protect couples who are not married, living together and having children together, said Susan B. Sorenson, professor of social policy at the School of Social Policy & Practice and study author. . The Violence Against Women Act, a federal law passed in 1994 to protect victims of abuse, only applies to people who are married or living with someone who assaulted them.

“Federal policy focuses on people who are married, living together or having a common child, she said. “We know that abuse occurs in addition to these kinds of relationships. Unfortunately, federal policy does not deal with this, and the policy is almost a generation ago now. “

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Under the Violence Against Women Act, victim protection orders and restraining orders are recognized in all states. It also offers legal protection to women, for example by allowing undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic violence to apply for a green card in exchange for helping law enforcement officials prosecute their abusers and helping women who are victims of domestic violence. are evicted from their homes because of domestic violence.

Under the Gun Control Act, anyone convicted of domestic violence is not allowed to own a gun or ammunition. Some states, such as California, have broader definitions of legally protected relationships.

However, women who are not married but who experience abuse can be “left behind,” said Beth Meeks, director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. They may have difficulty obtaining restraining orders across state lines or obtaining affordable legal aid. “When you have a dangerous abuser, the etiquette on a relationship doesn’t make them any less dangerous,” she said.

The shift in the demographics of abuse comes as people marry older and less often. In the United States, the average age of first marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men. This is against 23 for women and 26 for men in 1990 and 20 and 22 in 1960. Student debt is only one of the reasons for the increase in age, as well as the evolution of Social mores in which it is not socially necessary to marry in order to have a child or live with a partner, Meeks said.

The latest study may simply indicate that people see red flags early and act on them. Or maybe it’s because people have more dating partners due to the popularity of dating apps like Tinder and OKCupid. (OkCupid and Tinder did not respond to the comment. OK Cupid and tinder have a long list of security tips covering both online and offline behavior.)

Dating apps allow people to present a very clean version of themselves,” Meeks said. “Offenders always hide what they’ve done in their past relationships, and it’s easier to do it on social media. You may feel very committed in a relationship before you start to see a problem.

The dating industry is worth it about $ 3 billion, with revenues split between advertising and subscription services, up about 5% per year, according to a report by research firm IBISWorld. Of that, about half comes from online dating. Tinder Plus costs $ 19.99 per month. OKCupid premium costs $ 9.99 for a one month subscription.

Not only are people meeting more frequently online, there are fewer social safety nets to alert new partners to past abuse, she noted. Over 20% of heterosexual couples and over 70% of same-sex couples met online in 2010, a 2017 study from the MIT Technology Review find.

In Anna’s case, she found that the isolating nature of dating apps contributed to the inability to see her abusive partner’s flaws from the start.

“We didn’t have mutual friends who could say he messed up and stay away from him,” she said. “After we broke up a lot was revealed by his friends that could have protected me or pushed me away. I don’t think it has to do with the number of partners – there are a lot of good guys out there – but the ease of the less good to integrate. “

If you know that you are experiencing violence in a relationship, you can call Domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233.