The online dating world can be overwhelming for many reasons, and apps are plagued with bad actors who don’t reveal themselves until it’s too late.
Now, Bumble is taking a step toward providing much-needed resources. On Monday, the dating app that puts women first announced that it will offer trauma support for users who report abuse—whether physical or emotional—for free. It’s the product of Bumble’s partnership with Bloom, a provider of remote courses for assault survivors, and a collaboration that took months to develop, with survivors providing crucial tips and feedback. When the app surveyed users from Bumble and its sister app, Badoo, it found that the most commonly reported type of abuse was emotional abuse.
The results from the survey showed that emotional abuse occurs almost as frequently offline as it does online, but it’s reported less by in-person victims. According to findings from the survey, “More than one in three respondents (35%) said they did not report [the abuse] because they didn’t think it would achieve anything, and 15% of respondents thought they wouldn’t be believed.”
After a user reports sexual assault or relationship abuse, they will get an access code to Bloom’s customized support for Bumble along with access to three self-guided courses, titled “Healing from Sexual Trauma”; “Society, Patriarchy, and Sexual Trauma”; and “Dating, Boundaries, and Relationships.” On occasion, the app’s members will be given six free therapy sessions and chat support.
Bumble’s survey also found that pandemic restrictions have worsened abuse situations—with one in four respondents saying so.
“The safety of our members has been central to our mission from day one,” Kenya Fairley, Bumble’s head of safety support, said in a statement. “It is vital that we create a space for survivors within our community to be seen, heard, and believed.”