Domestic violence

Domestic Violence: Police Say “We Don’t Act on ‘What If’s’ “

Domestic Violence: How Seriously Do Call-Handlers Take Warnings?

At the DAA, we were saddened to learn of the case of Karen Catherall.  Karen  45, from Flintshire, was strangled by a man she met on the Plenty of Fish dating site, in September 2014.    Before being fatally attacked, Karen made a 12-second silent call.  The police did not respond.  As a consequence, the public have learnt that dialling emergency services when afraid to speak does not necessarily lead to any kind of help or follow up.   At the Dating Agency Association, we have been further alarmed by the passive response to calls for help even when a call-handler is supplied with vital information linked to domestic violence cases.

“We Don’t Act on What If’s

It was almost midnight when a key member of our team took a call from a concerned family member.  The family member had received a string of texts from her sister’s volatile and aggressive ex-partner.  The texts stated that her sister had been ‘disrespectful’ and that the man was on his way to her home to confront her.

Attempts to contact the young woman at-risk were proving fruitless.  Her mobile phone was switched off.  This was highly unusual.  With panic rising, the Dating Agency Association employee called ‘999’.  She explained her concern for a young mother and child.   The former partner’s history of emotional and physical aggression were detailed.

The call-handler responded by stating that the police do not operate on ‘What If’s‘.  She suggested our colleague drive to the woman’s home and call ‘999’ again from her car if necessary.  The call-handler did not ask for the name or address of the woman at risk.   No attempt was made to log details or look up the man’s past.

“I felt patronised.  Dismissed.”

“I felt patronised. Dismissed by the call-handler.  I was happy to drive to the young woman’s home but what was frightening was the lack of urgency or support from the police. Not one single personal detail was logged.”  our colleague explained.

The Way Forward?

A review of Karen Catharell’s case has highlighted the dangers of internet dating.  The DAA welcomes moves to further educate single men and women in the risks associated with meeting strangers.  However, we also feel that the way in which call-handlers respond to cries for help from those who can’t speak for themselves needs urgent review.





Valentine's Day

A Valentine’s Love Story

Why It’s Never Too Late To Begin Your Own Valentine’s Love Story

As we get older, life can wear us down.  The notion of finding love feels ever more unrealistic.  As a consequence, it’s easy to become rather Scrooge-like about Valentine’s Day.   Having to punch one’s way through a wall of roses, chocolates and novelty cards to reach a microwavable meal for one at the local supermarket is no-one’s idea of fun!  As dating experts, we’d like to let you into two industry secrets.  Firstly, this time of year is known within the dating world as Peak Dating Season!  Secondly, many of our gorgeous clients find that, with the right guidance, love can be found at any stage in life.

This year, former Elect Club clients, Kim and Chris, will be spending their first Valentine’s Day together.  Here is their story, in their own words:

Chris :

My approach to dating wasn’t working.  As a result of unsuccessfully trying a number of online dating sites, I was becoming very cynical. I had nursed my terminally ill wife for two years.   This was followed by two years of grieving. At 59 years of age, the prospect of dating again was daunting.
I picked up a golden nugget of advice on a Tony Robbins course: ” If something is not working in your life, take massive action and get a coach”.  As a result, I contacted dating coach James Preece and signed up for his online blogs.  Working with James gave me new confidence.    James introduced me to The Elect Club.  I met with CEO, Genevieve Zawada,  who listened to my hopes and dreams.  Consequently, Genevieve invited me to a dinner at the Secret Supper Club, in London.  Genevieve described a lady called Kim to me and said we would be introduced on the night.Valentine's day
Having been introduced, Kim and I talked into the small hours and too soon she was whisked home by taxi.  I had found The One! We became engaged four weeks later, having fallen head over heels in love! We married in Antigua on the beach, 6 months to the day we met. Kim is my soul mate and best friend.   We have such plans for our new life together!

Kim :

I was ready to find a life partner.  I was divorced with a demanding career.  My grown up children had flown the nest.  This was a great time to look for love, but how?
I decided to avoid the ‘hit and miss’ experience of online dating.  I wanted to meet like-minded people who were also serious about finding love.  Additionally, my personal safety was a priority.  Therefore,  I arranged to meet Genevieve for a coffee and a chat.  Genevieve made me feel confident and optimistic about my chances of meeting someone very special.
Chris and I have just celebrated our 2 month wedding anniversary. Life has truly restarted and every day our love continues to grow. We will be celebrating our first Valentines together this year!
Where have all the good women gone?

Where have all the good women gone?

We are delighted to say that the Dating Agency Association featured prominently in the Daily Mail this week, through our own Relationship Adviser, Trelawney Kerrigan, as journalist Rebecca Evans wrote about men fighting back from recent stinging criticism that single men are boring, grumpy slobs. Where have all the good women gone asks Trelawney?

In this outright war of the sexes, Trelawney Kerrigan of the DAA, explained the reasons that some men become disillusioned with dating after a couple of knock backs. Says Trelawney: “Women will take a more positive approach while me, after a couple of knock backs, will shrivel up. They are easily disillusioned; women are better at brushing themselves off.”

She continues “It’s a confidence thing with men, you often hear men saying there are not enough genuine people out there, and that nobody’s taking it seriously.”

The men however forcefully make their points: Danny Webster, a 33 year old radio presenter from Birmingham states that he feels “Women don’t want nice men like me, they want bad boys.” He has given up on women because of painful rejections, but he does admit that he yearns to have children in the future, “It’s one part of my life I yearn for when I see my other friends with kids.”

Jamie Clows, a small business owner from Chesterfield in Derbyshire, feels “A lot happier being single. I don’t want to go on dates, it depresses me” says Jamie.  He has become one of the growing army of men making up the online community known as MGTOW – men going their own way. MGTOW, which began in the USA in the 70’s, has 10’s of thousands of followers and provides the chance for men to share relationship problems, their struggles for equal access to children and say they feel, freer, happier and wealthier for shunning relationships.

Are they missing out? Well Trelawney Kerrigan believes so and feels she could provide the advice and help to get them back on track, without them having to resort to online dating, which appears to be a common hate amongst them. Why not visit Trelawney at her own website she offers some excellent advice.

The Daily Mail article from Rebecca Evans can be viewed here: 

Dating Agency Association

Catfishing on UK dating sites – the DAA view

On Tuesday 18th July Labour MP for Stockport Anne Coffey used an adjournment debate in Parliament to debate making the practice of ‘Catfishing’ – the stealing of someone’s identity and using it online illegal. Unfortunately however – currently catfishing on UK dating sites and apps remains as a significant and growing problem.

Ms Coffey has urged all online dating companies and social media sites such as Facebook, to be more proactive in monitoring their webites for this practice and providing warning messages to users that they also need to be vigilant.

Ms Coffey’s concern was prompted by the case of male model Matt Peacock who has had his identity stolen, with more than 30 women being duped by this, often into sending indecent images or videos of themselves. Photo’s of Mr Peacock’s niece and nephew were also used to give the false profile more credibility.

On the occasions when the ‘dates’ went the full course and the catfisher involved met the women face to face, the women were told that Mr Peacock was busy and that he was his cousin, who had been sent in his place. Incredibly many of the women stayed and the ‘date’ went ahead.

Mr Peacock’s wife was approached on several occasions and advised of the existence of the profile and his relationship was put under a huge strain because this had happened. He eventually tracked down the ‘Catfisher’ through a private detective.

It is the view of the Dating Agency Association that this is most definitely the dark side of online dating and we strongly support Anne Coffey’s stance that more should be done to outlaw this practice.

Eddy Ankrett

Eddy Ankrett

Our own code of conduct insists that for our member companies, all new members are interviewed and ID checked utilising photographic evidence, this is specifically to avoid the use of fake profiles and those that have been involved in online fraud. Which in turn means that you can utilise our members confident in the knowledge that catfishing is not going to be a possibility.

We caught up with Eddy Ankrett, Chairman of the Dating Agency Association for his views: Mr Ankrett stated “We deplore this practice and fully support Anne Coffey’s views that this should be outlawed through the passing of new parliamentary legislation. I do however remain confident that the comprehensive checking of potential new clients by DAA member companies, means that the general public can join any of our recommended companies with total confidence.”

Here are our Dating Safety Guidelines – to which all Dating Agency Association members must subscribe:

Dating Safely Campaign


Over 50's dating

Older age dating for those 50+

In recent years one of the fastest growing sectors of the dating marketplace has been older age dating – those people aged 50-75 and a little beyond that in some instances. These ‘older agers’ or ‘silver surfers’ have realised that meeting someone and having a relationship is not anything that is exclusive to younger age groups.

Finding a dating agency for younger age groups 25-49

“How do I go about finding a dating agency that specialises in younger age groups?”, is one of the questions we get asked most frequently. And right up front we know that it isn’t easy, as predominantly traditional personal introductions have been the domain for older age groups which have made it somewhat difficult finding a dating agency for those younger age groups.

Dating Agency Association

Dating Safely – Instructions To Member Organisations

In the light of the recent rape case and other very bad publicity for the Online Dating sector, such as the crime statistics related to online dating published by the National Crime Agency in February 2016, dating safely is right at the top of the agenda with the Dating Agency Association. So much so that yesterday we updated our Code of Practice for members to make it compulsory for all websites to carry a ‘dating safely’ section and to publish guidelines for clients to follow.

Dating Agency Association

New Chief Executive Appointment

Tina Wallace

Tina Wallace

Tina Wallace – New Chief Executive Officer – Dating Agency Association

We are delighted to announce today that Tina Wallace has been appointed to the new position of Chief Executive Officer of the Dating Agency Association. Ms Wallace has more than 25 years of experience within the dating industry and also has experience as a Plc director, so will bring a considerable degree of expertise and knowledge with her into the new appointment.

Dating Agency Association

Safer dating hints and tips

One of our key roles as one of the leading voices in the UK on dating matters is to strongly promote safer dating.

The last year was not a good one for online dating, with significant levels of criticism in the press and on TV and many ordinary people have become extremely concerned about being able to date safely and as risk free as possible, we see it as part of our role to highlight the problems that are occurring and to try to ensure that everyone is aware that issues can happen, how best to avoid them if at all possible but also highlight the most effective ways to cope if they do happen to you.

Dating Agency Association

Dating agencies’ busiest day of the Year

Dating agencies in January receive more calls than in any other month and January 2nd is often their busiest day of all. It seems that Christmas and New Year, whilst often a period for celebration, can be a time for a little reflection too. Sadly Christmas can be the time when relationships come under a spotlight and sometimes fail, so January is also the top month for divorce lawyers taking on new instructions.

Dating Agency Association

Dating News

Welcome to the official blog of the Dating Agency Association – the only independent dating agency body in the UK. Originally formed in 2002 as the Introduction Services Federation, the association was formed to serve and support individual daters to ensure they are treated fairly and equitably by our member companies and that remains as our major purpose today. We also believe in and actively campaign for safer dating in the UK and would like to see the whole industry taking a tougher and more proactive stance on protecting the public.

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