Dating can be a wonderful and exciting experience and journey. However, there are precautions that need to be taken in order to keep it safe and enjoyable.
Take it slow
It’s very easy to start baring your soul to someone you have just met. Remember you are still talking to a stranger. The National Crime Agency report that in more than half of the sexual assault cases reported there were communications of a sexual nature before they met.
Note that healthy relationships tend to go slowly, not quickly.
Never send money or share financial information
Fraudsters may try to convince you that they are in a difficult situation and they need some money eg. they are trapped overseas and need some money to get home to their children. Do not under any circumstance send money to people who you don’t know well and haven’t met in real life.
Please report any requests for money from FDBK users to [email protected] and we will investigate this as soon as possible.
Be careful sharing personal information
Avoid sharing information about your address, where you work, go to the gym, details about your routine, or your children, or where they go to school, as well as your place of birth, former last names, pet names, and any other information that could be used to impersonate you.
Avoid sharing nude pictures
Once nude photos have been shared, it can be hard to take them back. “Revenge porn” (where people publicly share nude photos of ex-partners) has become more prevalent in recent times. For this reason, we do not recommend you share nude pictures.
Remember that people lie
While we encourage FDBK users to be honest, unfortunately, there are some dishonest people out there. They may lie about their age, height, their identity, amongst other things. Please exercise extreme caution especially when first speaking.
Report any suspicious behaviour
Please do report any suspicious behaviour to us at [email protected]
You should report criminal behaviour to the police, such as:
- Unsolicited nude pictures
- Racial abuse
Safety When Meeting
Get your own drinks and do not leave your drink unattended
While it is nice to have someone who wants to buy you a drink, it is safer if you buy the drinks yourself to avoid allowing someone the opportunity to spike your drinks.
Do not leave valuables or keys unattended
It can be easy to leave your phone, wallet, purse on the table, such as when you need the bathroom, on your date. However, it is best if you do not leave any valuables or keys unattended at any time when meeting users off FDBK as this could make you more likely to be a victim of crime.
Tell friends and family about your plans
Make sure your friends and family know you are going on a date with someone you have met from FDBK. Inform them of the time and location of where you are meeting, what time you plan to be back. Ask them to also check in with you at scheduled times.
Meet in public, stay in public
Do not go to any user’s home without knowing them well, especially if intoxicated. If things go well, your date may ask if you’d like to go somewhere private, such as their home. Do not do this until you have been on numerous dates and have gotten to know each other very well. If you are meeting in a public park, make sure it’s well-attended and well-lit, and is not in a secluded area. Ideally, meet somewhere where there are going to definitely be other people.
Do not take any substances offered by your date
Some people may offer you to partake in drugs. Do not do this, as you don’t know what’s in them for sure.
Avoid getting too intoxicated
It might be fine to have one glass of wine or a pint of beer, but make sure you do not get too intoxicated as this could put you at greater risk of being a victim of crime.
No means no
If you have refused consent to sexual activity, but the person tries to coerce you into it, this can still be considered sexual assault or rape. If they try to do this, leave immediately and inform the police if necessary.
Avoid sex with strangers
FDBK is all about helping people find, create and maintain healthy relationships. Fast hook-ups do not give you a chance to really know someone and as such, puts you at greater risk of being a victim of a crime.
Sex of any kind can also lead to Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and infections as well as unwanted pregnancies, particularly if engaging in unprotected sex (keeping in mind that no contraceptive is 100% effective either). Do not engage in sexual activity with someone you have just met. Get yourself tested for STDs regularly with sexual health screening services if you are sexually active, especially if you have just changed sexual partners recently.
If using contraceptives is against your religious or spiritual beliefs, then we recommend you abstain from sexual practice or abstain until you are in committed long-term relationship, according to such beliefs.
Tell someone if you feel unsafe for any reason
If you feel unsafe at any time, let someone know, such as security staff at a venue. Or you can call the police on 999 or 112.
In the UK, you can also register with emergency services to contact them via text discreetly. Text ‘register’ to 999 and follow the instructions. You do not need to wait for an emergency to do this. See emergencySMS.
More resources and tips
- Report a crime (UK Police) - call 999 or 112 in an emergency
- Tips to prevent stalking and harassment (Met Police)
- Spiked drinks and date-rape drugs (Met Police)
- Tips for dealing with a violent situation (Met Police)
- Safe Online Dating (Get Safe Online)
- Date Safe (Online Dating Association)
- Taking action about harassment (Citizens Advice)
- How to deal with cyberbullying (Bullying UK)