President of RAINN, Scott Berkowitz, Recognizes RAINN Team’s Efforts To Ensure Public Safety at Football’s Biggest Game in Phoenix

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 09:48 am

On the eve of 2023’s big game, RAINN took a stand for the safety of Super Bowl 57’s visitors as well as Phoenix residents. The advocacy group, which is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, announced and supported the Game Day Safe Dating Guide produced by Match Group, the parent company for the Tinder, Hinge, and Match dating apps. The Guide was also supported by partners Polaris, the City of Phoenix, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

The program was designed to promote safety during the large-scale event, which draws hundreds of thousands of attendees and increases the likelihood for crime and violence.

The Game Day Safe Dating Guide encourages awareness and proactive decision-making for individuals and groups attending highly populated events Attendees, especially those meeting up with new people, are encouraged to be clear on with whom and where they’ll be meeting and stay in control of their situation and surroundings throughout. Whether that means setting up their own transportation to and from the event, or choosing well-lit and public locations for introductions, attendees should practice smart dating habits to underscore their safety. As a general rule, the guide also reminds attendees to be aware of their surroundings and keep their personal items under observation at all times.

While dating and gathering for sports events can be fun and go hand in hand, large and crowded events can also be breeding grounds for predatory behaviors. The 2023 Super Bowl was not the first to highlight this concern. Officials from the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault noted in 2014 the addition over 400,000 fans to the metropolitan area also increased the chances of crime and danger. Visitors at the time were encouraged to create a safety plan, be wary of strangers, and trust their instincts in uncertain situations.

Creating and publicizing a plan in advance of Super Bowl 57 in Phoenix was a priority for RAINN President Scott Berkowitz, who not only advocates for victims of crime, but also for prevention. “We thank Match Group for its leadership in bringing this leading group of anti-violence organizations together for such an important public safety cause,” Traci Sharpe, RAINN’s director of training and clinical services, who led the RAINN’s participation in the project, said in a news release about the guide. “We are honored to contribute to this important resource and hope that those coming to Phoenix to enjoy the festivities will find it helpful.”

Unfortunately, programs like RAINN have just cause for concern about safety around online dating, and not just through the lens of big events. According to Time magazine, a 2019 ProPublica report found more than a third of the over 1,200 women surveyed by the Columbia Journalism Institute reported being sexually assaulted by someone they met through an online dating platform. RAINN supports a number of safety initiatives and has developed its own series of online dating safety tips to help the over 40 million people who choose to connect both digitally and in person. These include defining suspicious behaviors to watch for, recommending ways to confirm a person’s true identity, and guidelines on waiting to share personal information. RAINN also makes a number of suggestions when it comes to meeting in person, placing the individual’s safety at the forefront of all interactions.

RAINN is a member of the advisory council for Match Group. The council is dedicated to maximizing the safety of users across a number of dating platforms through technology solutions, such as user verification requirements, as well as providing advice for users to do their own due diligence.

For anyone who has experienced sexual violence, RAINN is available as a resource for advocacy and response. Individuals and loved ones can access 24/7 assistance through 800-656-4673 or through Hotline support is free and confidential, providing an outlet for victims alongside a variety of services that have helped four million survivors.

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