Sexual abuse, harassment on dating apps seldom reported
People who experience online sexual abuse, including through popular dating apps, rarely report their experiences to police.
A new study from the Australian Institute of Criminology has found one in seven people who were sexually harassed or assaulted in person after meeting someone through dating apps made a police report.
This drops to one in 12 people reporting online sexual harassment to police.
Women were also less likely to report their experiences to police.
The institute's deputy director Rick Brown said while the reporting rate was low, satisfaction with police investigating them was high.
"Overall, police were found to respond appropriately to reports," Dr Brown said.
"(But) despite experiencing disproportionate rates of sexual harassment and violence, LGBTQI women had the lowest rates of reporting, and those who did report were also more likely to indicate negative experiences."
Online safety is in the government's sights as federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowland is working with dating app companies to stamp out sexual assault and abuse on their platforms.
Ms Rowland has asked Australia's attorneys-general to look at law reforms to increase the safety of the three million plus people using dating apps.
She said she was pleased to see some dating platforms had introduced more safety features but was disappointed some were put behind a paywall.
"It remains a very high priority of the Albanese government to keep Australians safe," she told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.
"We continue to pursue those outcomes and discuss the regulatory options."
The minister has said binding and non-binding industry codes are being considered to spur online dating companies into acting in the best interest of their users.
She also flagged further developments in the near future.
The study drew on survey responses from 10,000 adults who used an online dating platform in the past five years and has revealed prolific rates of sexual abuse and violence stemming from dating apps in subsequent reports.