In a rare move for the dating app industry, Bumble is partnering with remote trauma support site Bloom to offer complimentary services to users.
Bloom provides free online courses by and for survivors of sexual assault and harassment on mental health topics such as creating boundaries and managing anxiety. Chayn, a nonprofit based in the UK, created the project as part of its mission to provide resources and support for survivors of gender-based violence.
The service, which will begin later this year, will be available to survivors of assault or abuse who met their abuser on the app. Bumble plans on expanding the program to include people who experienced assault no matter where they met their assailant.
Considering that dating apps, including Bumble, have been accused of being slow to block assaulters on their sites in the past, this unique offering is a tremendous step forward. Assaulters on datings apps have led to both online and in-person harassment for dating app users.
Assaulters on datings apps have led to both online and in-person harassment for dating app users.
On top of access to Bloom’s library, Bumble users can receive up to six therapy sessions and one-on-one chat support. Should a user report an assault or relationship abuse to Bumble’s feedback team, they’ll receive a code for a free version of Bloom made especially for app members.
The Bloom team includes therapists with experience treating trauma as well as other members who’ve worked with survivors in a support capacity, many of whom are survivors themselves, said Chayn founder Hera Hussain.
“While being a survivor does not make someone an expert in all aspects of trauma and abuse,” Hussain noted, “we believe that having lived experience of abuse and sexual violence within our team adds further depths of empathy and shared understanding to our work.”
Hussain acknowledged that dating after a sexual assault can be difficult. After experiencing trauma, one may lose trust in people and feel uncomfortable in situations that arise while dating. Coping with trauma can be isolating and exhausting without access to therapy — but with the right support, healing is possible.
Bloom courses are designed to give participants practical tools, Hussain said. She hopes Bumble’s initiative sets the standard for the online dating industry and beyond.
Bumble has worked to curb harassment on the app in the past. In January, for example, Bumble banned fatphobic messages and body shaming. It also raised awareness about dating fetishization through a campaign earlier this year.
Other apps have been adding tools to stop bad actors as well. One example is Tinder’s recent Are You Sure? feature, which uses AI to detect potential harmful messages and intervene with a warning. Further, Tinder is working on adding background checks for a fee.
The custom Bumble and Bloom curriculum will be initially available in English and Spanish, followed by French, Hindi, Arabic, and Urdu next year. In the future, the company plans to also offer these services to users of Badoo, another dating app owned by Bumble.