A recent attack in Zetland, Sydney, underlines the need for our community to be vigilant about personal safety and to continue to take particular care when using online dating websites.
Men using online dating services to meet other men should remain extra vigilant until the suspect is apprehended by the Police.
Today’s news reported allegations about a suspect named as Trent Jennings, who absconded from a psychiatric facility last Friday. It is reported that Mr Jennings was in custody as a mental health patient for the previous stabbing of a man to death eight years ago, after meeting him online.
It is extremely important to report all incidents of assault or theft to the Police immediately. If an incident does occur, people should report that incident to the police straight away, as well as report the profile of the perpetrator to the website’s management.
Nicolas Parkhill, CEO of ACON, home to the Anti Violence Project says there are a number of ways of increasing your safety when using online dating websites and applications. Some of these include:
- Consider meeting in a public place
- Text, e-mail or tell a friend where you are going and check in with them afterwards
- Consider providing your friend with the name, address and mobile number of the person you plan to meet
- Leave a note with the address of where you are going or any other details
- If they come to your place, you could let them think someone else may be staying with you
- If you go to their place, always trust your instincts and leave immediately if it doesn’t feel right
- Have your own transport or cab fare
- Exercise caution before being restrained by a partner you don't know well or have not met before
For emergencies, Police can be contacted on 000 or you can also call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.
ACON’s Lesbian and Gay Anti-Violence Project on 9206 2116 or free call 1800 063 060.