Aussie mum’s Tinder date horror
An Australian woman has opened up about being violently attacked by a man she met on a popular dating app while on holiday in Europe.
Karen Sadler swiped right on the Tinder profile of a handsome and charming man named Alain while spending time on the Spanish island of Ibiza last Thursday.
After chatting for a while, the Perth mum agreed to meet up with the man, whose profile describes him as a 48-year-old Harvard-educated lawyer and businessman, who lives in Switzerland.
"Alain was charming and professional, and also a father," Karen, a mum herself, said.
"We went to a nice dinner and enjoyed and dined alfresco at an Iberian seafood restaurant. It all seemed to be going well."
They went back to his holiday villa and when it was time to go home, Karen called a taxi and grabbed her bag. He walked her to the door, but instead of a kiss goodnight, he suddenly and violently attacked her.
Without warning, the man punched her in the head and knocked her out. Karen fell down a flight of stairs and dropped her mobile phone.
"It was the most random thing," Karen said. "This man went from Dr Jekyll to Mr Hyde in a split moment."
Thankfully, the taxi had arrived and the driver rushed to help, bundling her into his cab and rushing her to hospital.
Karen suffered a concussion, a cut on her eye, which was badly swollen, and significant bruising.
The man's Tinder profile, viewed by news.com.au, paints a picture of a nice-sounding professional who enjoys spending his downtime in Ibiza, a Spanish island tourist hotspot.
"I am a lawyer and businessman and returned from Singapore and Hong Kong after five years," the bio reads. "I live in Switzerland now.
"I love good food and red wine. I have a five-year-old daughter in my care and an excellent relationship with her mom for 20 years. I am secure and know what I like and what I want.
"I have lived on three continents and if I am not wise at least I might have some perspective."
Karen said there was absolutely no warning she was in danger.
"I wasn't prepared for this, which (is why) I now believe it is so important if you are in a foreign country to have a plan, make sure people know where you are and that you have a means to call for help easily if you need to," she said.
Ironically, Karen's long-time close friend Stephanie Rodriguez is the developer of a free personal safety app for women, WanderSafe, that aims to prevent violent attacks.
It has just introduced a new feature using Siri and Google Assistant to enable emergency alerts and GPS coordinates to be sent via voice activation.
"It offers a safe and discreet way for women to access the help they need when they need it without even touching the device and unbeknown to their potential threat," she said.
"It could be as simple as saying 'Hey Siri, Furry Cucumber'. The unique and discreet phrase pre-established by the user when activated using Siri or Google Assistant sets off the SOS function in the WanderSafe app and sends SOS notifications with location coordinates to preset contacts that could be loved ones, carers, or employers.
"This groundbreaking feature gives anyone who may be incapacitated, vision impaired, or unable to reach their phone a way to signal for help with location specific information three times faster than using a smartphone alone and in a totally discreet fashion."
Seeing the impact of the traumatic attack on her friend via video chat last week left her devastated, she said.
"Karen and I have known each other for almost 15 years," she said. "We've (holidayed together) in Bali, drank wine on Rottnest Island on family boating trips and survived bad marriages.
"When I saw Karen's post from the hospital on Facebook, with her beautiful face bashed and bruised, I was overwhelmed with emotion - anger, sadness, grief.
"When we spoke on Instagram video, I could not help the tears rolling down my face in sadness for the trauma my friend had to undergo way over in Spain and all by herself.
"She dropped her phone as she fell down the stairs and this is where the new (voice) app feature would have been her lifesaver had that taxi driver not seen her and come to her aid."
Tinder was approached for comment.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact the 24-hour National Sexual Assault and Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800respect.org.au