People with disability are at an increased risk of sexual violence a new report from the Australian Institute of Criminology showed. However, the extent of this risk, particularly in the context of online dating, is unclear as research on dating app facilitated sexual violence (DAFSV) is in its infancy.  

The study is part of work examining the prevalence and nature of online harms facilitated by mobile dating apps and websites, with a focus on experiences of online sexual harassment, aggression and violence among users with disability. The research found that online sexual harassment and abusive and threatening language were common, followed by online stalking and image-based sexual abuse.

This study examined the prevalence and nature of online DAFSV experienced by people with disability using data from a large national survey of dating platform users. Overall, 88 per cent of users with disability encountered some form of online DAFSV. Rates of harm were significantly higher for those with disability than for users without disability with women and First Nations people with disability particularly at risk.

Findings support the urgency of responses to protect those most at risk of harm facilitated by online dating platforms.

 Sexual violence victimisation among people with disability has received increased attention recently, due in part to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.