Finding “the one” on dating apps is a tough proposition these days. Not only is there a big pool of people you need to swipe through and match with first, there’s also the problem with unsavoury folk who are on those apps for the sole purpose of catfishing others.
Well good news to all you single people out there! There could be some serious consequences on the horizon for those who get off on catfishing.
According to proposed changes to consent laws by the NSW Law Reform Commission (via news.com.au), people who catfish others on dating apps or straight up lies about themselves in order to get laid could be slapped with sexual assault charges on top of the fraud charges they’ll cop.
The proposed change states that consent is invalidated when a person has sex with someone but is mistaken about their identity, the “nature of the sexual activity,” the “purpose of the sexual activity”, or is “fraudulently induced to participate in the sexual activity”.
So in other words:
In addition to the heavier consequences for catfishing, the proposed law changes also tightened up definitions of consent and included a non-exhaustive list of circumstances in which a person doesn’t consent to sexual activity, such as:
- does not do or say anything to communicate consent
- does not have the capacity to consent
- is so affected by alcohol or another drug as to be incapable of consenting
- is asleep or unconscious
- is coerced, blackmailed intimidated or unlawfully detained
While these proposed changes drew in mixed reactions from the likes of the Australian Lawyers Alliance and the Feminist Legal Clinic, there’s still a ways to go before these Law Reform Commission’s proposals become law so there could still be more changes to come.
It remains to be seen what will ultimately happen but it’s hard to argue against new laws that’ll weed out all the catfishing fraudsters on dating apps, as well as the tighter definitions of consent. Besides, lying isn’t a solid foundation to start any kind of relationship anyway.