Read the full report here!
When CouchSurfing, your personal safety should always be paramount in every decision you make.
Read the safety features & advice provided by CouchSurfing.com:
Welcome to the world of hosting and surfing! Here are some safety features and tips that will help you make your hosting and surfing experience yet another safe and successful adventure. We encourage you to look over these features and guides before you surf or host as they will help you make safe, responsible choices about your connections.
Verified members are key to the community’s safety. When you see someone with a verified profile, it means a few different things. First, verified members have all made a donation to help CouchSurfing keep running, so you can feel confident that they care about the community. Second, they’ve confirmed both their name and physical location, so you can feel more comfortable that they are who they say they are. If you’d like to become a verified member, click the link above for more information!
References are an excellent indicator of the type of experience you can expect to have when interacting with a member. What do fellow members have to say about them? What kind of references do they leave for others?
The Vouching System is taken very seriously here at CouchSurfing. Users can only vouch for members that they have met face to face and feel are trustworthy people. Respecting the significance of vouching is essential to the integrity of the network.
Safety for Surfers
When surfing, be aware of your surroundings. Your safety is your primary concern, and your responsibility.
Safety for Hosts
When hosting, evaluate your situation and your guest. Here are some things you might want to think about when meeting guests for the first time.
Use Your Common Sense
Safe surfing and hosting boils down to common sense. If you don't feel comfortable with something, don't do it! By using the features above you can help increase your awareness of potential guests and hosts, but the decision to host or surf is up to you. You never have to let someone into your house who you are not comfortable with, nor do you have to stay somewhere you feel uncomfortable. Make the best choice for you, and keep experiencing new cultures and people around the world!
UPDATE (15th August 2009):
Published Date: 15 August 2009
(Source: Yorkshire Evening Post)
Jury fails to reach verdict in Leeds 'couchsurf' rape trial
A Jury has been discharged after failing to reach a verdict in the trial of a man accused of raping a woman he met on a website.
Abdelali Nachet will remain in custody after the jury spent five-and-a-half hours deliberating but could not agree on a verdict.
Moroccan-born Nachet, 34, is accused of raping a woman from Hong Kong who spent a night at his flat in Moortown, Leeds. He denies the charge.
The pair had met on www.couchsurfing.com, which puts travellers in touch with people offering free accommodation.
In her evidence, the woman said she had been raped twice during a prolonged ordeal which lasted throughout her stay in March. She also said Nachet had threatened to kill her and then kill himself if she tried to escape from his flat on Cranmer Bank.
But in his defence, dad-of-one Nachet, a part-time chef, said the 27-year-old had "wanted lots of sex" and "loved it".
Judge Kerry Macgill discharged the jury yesterday and Nachet may now face a re-trial. The case will appear at Leeds Crown Court again on August 28.