Dating and networking app Bumble and survivor-led non-profit organization Bloom announced on Tuesday that they are providing online trauma support to Bumble users who report sexual assault or relationship abuse.
Bumble members who report sexual assault or emotional abuse to the app’s feedback team will be given any or all of Bloom’s self-guided courses, available in English and Spanish, on:
Healing from Sexual Trauma;
Society, Patriarchy, and Sexual Trauma; and
Dating, Boundaries, and Relationships.
In some cases, Bumble users can also access one-on-one chat support and up to six therapy sessions.
“The safety of our members has been central to our mission from day one. It is vital that we create a space for survivors within our community to be seen, heard, and believed,” said Kenya Fairley, Bumble’s head of member safety support, in a statement.
In the Philippines, usage of the app remained high amid the pandemic because of Filipinos’ strong online presence, with personality being the top priority for Filipino users when looking for a partner, according to Bumble in November.
There is no data for negative Philippine-based experiences of online dating, but the 2017 National Demographic Health Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that one in four Filipino women aged 15 to 49 has experienced physical, emotional, or sexual violence by a partner.
A global survey that Bloom conducted among Bumble members highlighted that emotional abuse was the most commonly experienced form of abuse, happening almost equally online and in-person.
In-person abuse is reported less often, however, with 35% saying they didn’t report because they didn’t think it would achieve anything, and 15% saying they thought they wouldn’t be believed.
“Where there is trauma, there is room for healing. Feedback from our course participants shows that Bloom supports survivors to feel less alone and make progress along their healing journey in whatever way works for them,” said Hera Hussain, founder of Chayn, the organization against gender-based violence that runs Bloom.
Bumble has no access to any information disclosed in the therapy sessions. Bloom uses technology with end-to-end encryption that enables secure and anonymous group therapy conversations. — Brontë H. Lacsamana