CouchSurfing Responds to Sexual Assault Trial in England
August 12th, 2009
In light of recent events in England, CouchSurfing has released the following statement to the media:
>>CouchSurfing Responds to Sexual Assault Trial in England
(San Francisco, California) - Earlier this week, CouchSurfing was made aware of the fact that a man in Leeds, England, is on trial for a sexual assault against a member of its service. This crime was reportedly committed in March. If found to be true, this is an appalling abuse of the community's trust. CouchSurfing has always been committed to helping members make informed decisions about their safety, and will take any information revealed in this case into consideration in its continual review of the site's safety systems.
CouchSurfing's internal Member Disputes and Safety Team removed the accused perpetrator from its website upon learning of the formal allegations. The team received a message in March that referred to this situation, but the details were incomplete. Although the team requested more information, the identity of the alleged attacker and the details about the situation were not confirmed until this week. Thankfully, the woman involved in this situation took the proper course of action by notifying the authorities and pursuing legal action. CouchSurfing is very grateful to her for helping to protect other members of the community by taking her allegations to a court of law.
"We at CouchSurfing are very upset about the situation that this woman has faced and extend our deepest sympathies to her," says Daniel Hoffer, co-founder and chairman of CouchSurfing. "As a community that relies on trust, the actions of a single individual have the potential to impact us all. Although we have facilitated over 1.3 million successful 'surfings' and over 2.4 million positive experiences, we understand that even one event like this is too many for those affected. We are dismayed that anyone would take advantage of the good spirit of this community."
CouchSurfing is an open forum. As such, it does not restrict membership and cannot guarantee that aberrant individuals will not attempt to use the service. Members are encouraged to carefully screen their potential hosts and guests. CouchSurfing's safety systems include references between members, optional identity and address confirmation, and a team that responds to all member disputes and safety concerns.<<
Our goal is to help CS in this review of the site's safety systems and make cases like this one and others discussed here since less and less likely to happen.
Members: 287 Sub-Groups: 2 Members in Sub-Groups: 3 Posts: 545 Created: Aug 13, 2009 Type: Public RSS