Dating App Facilitated Sexual Assault (DAppSA) is a new phenomenon and growing concern. Research on DAppSA is extremely limited. This study aimed to identify unique victim and assault characteristics associated with DAppSAs. A retrospective SAMFE chart review of patients (N = 3,413) from 2017 to 2020 was conducted. Sexual assault nurse examiners completed SAMFEs. Inclusion criteria for DAppSA cases included 1) victim was 14 years of age or older; 2) victim indicated they met the perpetrator on a dating website or app; 3) the SA occurred at the initial in-person meeting; 4) victim had a SAMFE with evidence collection. DAppSAs were compared to non-DAppSA acquaintance SAs. DAppSAs (n=274) represented 8.02% of overall cases and 13.92% of acquaintance SAs (n=1,968). DAppSA victims had unique characteristics including a higher percentage of male victims (7.5%), college students (22.2%), and victims with self-reported mental illness (59.6%). Victims were less likely to fight back during the assault with lower percentages of kicking (5.8%) and hitting (9%). DAppSA victims and perpetrators were less likely to use drugs or alcohol before/during the assault. DAppSA perpetrators were shown to be more violent and pre-meditated, with higher condom use (15%) rates of washing the victim (13.8%), ejaculation (52.7%), lubrication use (14.2%), and strangulation (32.4%). DAppSAs had more assaultive/penetrative acts with 89.4% reporting penile penetration. DAppSA victims had more documented physical injuries (71.4%) and anogenital injuries (50.2%). DAppSA victims were also found to have unique characteristics and increased vulnerabilities of SA. DAppSA cases were more violent, premeditated, and resulted in more injuries. Implications for nursing practice to address safety concerns and improve care to survivors are discussed.



College and Department

Nursing; Nursing



Date Submitted


Document Type





Sexual assault, rape, dating app, online dating



Included in

Nursing Commons