Most Helpful Guy
You can never know until you meet him in person. He's clearly interested if he has been talking to you for almost a year, I mean, that doesn't sound like a behavior of someone that will harm you, but who knows.
You must have some sort of trust on him since you keep talking to him, so take the next step and meet up at a public place, like a park or a coffee shop.
I know you're scared of getting in another violent relationship, but you have to set that fear apart cause you need to move forward with your life. What if this is the man you'll marry? You never know, you gotta take a chance.
For the first few dates meet him in public places until you can trust that he's a good guy.
Most Helpful Girl
Meet him in a very public place like a mall and talk get to know him better there. Diot let him walk you out to your car or drive you anywhere.