Women who agree to meet the men they have been chatting on the Internet for months are being told to take care following an increase in the number of women being attacked when on a real date with their online 'friends'.
The Auckland Sexual Abuse Help Foundation says that Internet dating makes women feel as if they 'know' the men they are chatting with. This in turn, leads to them relaxing their guard and agreeing to meet them - increasingly with horrific outcomes, reports stuff.co.nz.
"The reality is that women don't really know their Internet dates," said crisis services manager Kate Brady Kean.
"By removing their usual defences women are leaving themselves open to assault.
"A woman's first response is often: 'I can't believe he did this, he seemed like such a nice man'," she added.
The Auckland Sexual Abuse Help Foundation is now calling for more research into the impacts of Internet dating.