In many ways, the internet has made dating much easier. “Try to meet someone at a bar” is no longer a standard, making way for people to filter potential relationship partners based on interests, preferences and a host of other categories. Unfortunately, this shift in dating patterns does lend itself to some dangers, best exemplified by the “Match.com Rapist” Jason Lawrance, who was recently jailed for life in the United Kingdom due to his crimes.
During the trial, Lawrance was convicted of raping five separate women, whom he first met on online dating websites. The jury heard all the horrifying details, including one woman who was raped with her hands tied behind her back. A text message was presented during the trial where Lawrance admitted one of the rapes to his victim. Most disturbing was that Lawrance intentionally preyed upon women who were widowed or divorced.
Fortunately, Lawrance will be in jail for life. Unfortunately, it took too many incidents for him to be arrested and put on trial. Hopefully, this can be an educational experience on a number of levels. Being a victim of rape is a devastating experience, and as evidenced by the trial, it’s extremely difficult for victims to relive the details. But it’s often necessary to do sooner, so as to bring predators to justice faster. It’s also important to keep safety in mind when using online dating; it’s very unlikely to encounter predators like Lawrance, but it’s helpful to have precautions in place. For example, you can have a friend check in on you, even if only through text messages.