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Warning of dating app dangers after increase in numbers at sexual assault unit

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre said there was a 36% increase in victims being accompanied to the unit in the Rotunda Hospital.

THE DUBLIN RAPE Crisis Centre has expressed concern about the 36% increase last year in victims being accompanied to the sexual assault treatment unit in the Rotunda Hospital in 2015.

CEO of the charity, Ellen O’Malley Dunlop said the figures still have to be fully analysed but noted that in the UK, 400 offences including rape, child sex grooming and attempted murder have been connected by police to dating apps.

Today in Dublin a man was jailed for having sex with a 15-year-old girl he met after grooming her using a fake social media profie. 26-year-old Conor O’Keefe pretended he was a teenage girl called “Julie” and later claimed he was Julie’s older brother. He persuaded the girl to get in a taxi to his house where they had sex.

“The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre would warn potential users of these apps that there are perpetrators using these apps to prey on vulnerable people and to be as security conscious as possible and not to share personal data with anyone until they are sure about those they are communicating with,” O’Malley Dunlop said.

“We would strongly encourage users to report offences, and seek support if they become a victim of any type of crime.”

The Rape Crisis Centre helpline number is 1800 778 888.

Read: Man jailed after pretending to be a girl online so he could have sex with teen>

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