At Matchmakers Dating, we have long admired the stance of our industry body the Dating Agency Association, with regards to compulsory background checks for all new members and tougher regulation of the dating industry. We are therefore delighted to announce the launch of the DAA’s Dating Safely Campaign, which is wholeheartedly endorsed and supported by all of our team here at Matchmakers.
Finding a new partner and meeting potential partners should be a fun and enjoyable experience, but we want it to be a safe one too and guidelines about keeping safe when meeting new people seems a really sensible step. Here is the Dating Agency Association press release carrying details of the campaign:
Industry Body for UK Dating Agencies Announces Launch of National Dating Safely Campaign
13th February 2017 – The industry body for UK dating agencies, The Dating Agency Association, has announced that its national Dating Safely Campaign will go live on February 13th, 2017, providing free information to single people, and clear professional guidelines to dating agencies, in order to promote a cultural shift in the way we think about personal safety.
On the 15th January 2017, eighteen year old, Leonne Weeks – ‘a quiet girl, who wouldn’t hurt anybody’ – was found dead in an isolated pathway in Rotherham, South Yorks. Police are scouring social media for clues after friends said that Leanne had gone to meet a man from a dating site. A teenage boy has been charged with her murder.
While Leonne’s devastated family await answers, this young woman’s death is a stark reminder of how meeting strangers online has become commonplace within our society. Men and women of all ages are putting themselves at risk every day across the UK as a result of new and dangerous attitudes to dating.
In the tragic case of Usha Patel – a forty-four year old mother who was brutally murdered by a man she invited to her home – having connected via an online dating agency – Judge Rebecca Poulet QC said: “In my assessment, this case is a stark warning to anyone who plans to meet someone following limited internet contact. That meeting must take place in a public place until one person feels they know something of the other.”
Usha Patel’s five-year-old son discovered his mother’s body the morning after the vicious and bloody attack, having been left alone with her overnight. Judge Rebecca Poulet concluded – “She (Patel) was clearly anxious to meet a new partner, but she paid for this invitation with her life.”
The Dating Agency Association has set out clear guidelines for both single people, and dating agencies across the country, to ensure that the very human desire to find love no longer leaves single people vulnerable to exploitation and violence.
Dating Expert and Self-Help author, Trelawney Kerrigan, has worked closely with The Dating Agency Association, safety professionals, UK charities, and a diverse group of single people, to devise a set of simple guidelines aimed at saving lives. The Dating Safely Guidelines handbook can be downloaded free of charge via the Dating Agency Association website www.datingagencyassociation.org.uk
A hard copy of the handbook can also be requested via the website.
Trelawney Kerrigan said: “The frightening conclusion to my research is that the anonymity of dating apps and online sites has bought with it increasingly dangerous attitudes towards meeting complete strangers in isolated settings – blinded by the instant intimacy of online communication. Importantly this is not a behaviour limited to young people: men and women of all ages are trading the basic safeguarding of their lives for instant gratification.”
Tina Wallace, the Chief Executive of the Dating Agency Association, is thrilled that all Dating Agency Association member agencies must now commit to implementing clear policies and procedures that promote a safe and transparent environment on behalf of their clients. Tina Wallace said: “Our Dating Safely Guidelines handbook provides simple common sense advice to single people, ensuring that they consider their own well being and put personal safety first when seeking a relationship.