Grindr continues its reign as the most dangerous place to meet strangers as two more men were attacked using the app.
Two gay men were attacked in the Netherlands over the weekend shortly after meeting someone on a date made on dating app Grindr. One victim had to go to hospital for treatment. The second managed to flee before being injured. The police believe the men may have been attacked due to their sexual orientation and are investigating whether the two incidents are connected.
The first attack happened on Smitsweg during the early hours of Saturday morning. The victim arranged to meet a man on the parking lot of football association Wieldrecht. "The profile picture in the app matched the man who waited in the parking lot and he looked trustworthy", Lennart Lenskens, organizer of Dordrecht Pride and an acquaintance of the victim, said to newspaper AD. The two agreed to go to the man's home, and as they walked away around 16 men came out of the bushes and attacked the victim.
The victim sustained injuries to his face, fell on his head and lost consciousness for a time. "His good fortune was that he wore a thick coat, that kind of absorbed the worst of it", Lenskens said to the newspaper. He was treated in hospital and sent home to recover. The victim hasn't pressed charges yet, because he is afraid of reprisal. "I am really shocked by this. You know the numbers and you know it happens. But not in the safe Dordrecht."
The second incident happened on Schenkeldijk in Dordrecht during the early hours of Sunday morning. This incident also happened shortly after the victim met up with a Grindr date. According to the police, the victim was "nearly assaulted". He managed to flee before being physically hurt.
Dordrecht mayor Wouter Kolff responded on Twitter: "This weekend two unpleasant incidents of anti-gay violence occurred in Dordrecht. We are in close contact with the victims. Police, Public Prosecutor and I are doing everything we can to track down and stop the cowardly perpetrators. In the meantime, be alert while dating via apps and sites!"
Lenskens of Dordrecht Pride also advises against meeting people you don't know in remote locations. "We want to warn people by making this public", he said to AD.
LGBT interest group COC called the incidents awful, sick and cowardly. "Attacking someone because of his or her sexual orientation is cowardly, but then to also do it in a group for certainty is horrific", spokesperson Philip Tijsma said to AD. "This underlines the need for this government to combat violence against this group of people and make it a priority. It is still too common." Tijsma understands mayor Kolff and Dordrecht Pride's warning not to meet with strangers in remote locations. "But please let us not blame the victims or apps like Grindr. The problem lies with the idiotic perpetrators."
The police are urgently looking for witnesses of these incidents. "Despite the late time and the remote locations, we still call upon anyone who may have seen or heard something. Also if you have other information that may be of interest, we ask you to contact the police."