Who is on the safety team and what can be done to help someone in trouble

If someone has a safety issue and wants to report it - surfer or a host - who is at the receiving end of that message at couchers.org and what is the extent of that person’s authority to do something about it?
Is the safety reporting mechanism going to be manned 24 hours a day and if it’s a situation where someone is hurt and needs immediate attention (medical or police) does couchers.org get involved.
A male or female may not be prepared to report an incident to police, however the next person who comes in contact with that perpetrator should not be left to walk into the same situation.
The horror stories of cs members doing criminal things to a lot of people should be avoided and it can be if the right procedures are in place.
IMO the first time someone does something criminal to another member should be the last time they ever appear on couchers.org.

Maybe the safety team can make a list of such cases by collecting news articles of those.

There’s already some discussion on emergencies in Private “safety” link you can send to your friends that displays info about your trip.

I believe we cannot reliably provide real emergency response and therefore should stay very clear of giving any impression we could. If you are in an emergency you have to call the local police. But we can still provide safety features and nudges helping everyone to prevent and be prepared for emergencies as best as possible:

  • automate the exchange of verified legal names and addresses when a stay is confirmed (no guest ever asked me for my legal name)
  • have local “safe trip” pages with important safety information and contacts easily available
  • have a “safe trip” page for every user where they can note emergency contacts like their embassy number
  • support local care or response teams

A red flag would be a good idea to warn the next potential victim that someone has had a problem with that host.
A surfer would be more on guard and a host may be more likely not to act again.
This is one story I’m referring to which couchers should avoid happening to them:

1 Like

One of the things Couchers.org can do is to promote a culture where all members feel confident to show a real picture of themselves, give a real name and a real age. I understand some of these things are to kept hidden as a profile verification system. On the other hand, while I was in Couchsurfing I saw profiles featuring a photo of pair of feet, puppy dogs, baby faces, people 108 years old , with no real name. This was talked about in groups and defended as being for personal privacy and safety. It never registered as “right” to me, and seemed people had a lot to hide.
Another safety issue that’s a bit hard to control, but worth discussing is the politicisation of a group. I noticed in Couchsurfing groups a lot of criticism of a president of a country. That lead to many arguments , flagging, reporting and suspending of members as the safety team seemed to support one political view. It’s a shame when politics overrules hospitality. And made the Couchsurfing safety team appear partisan. It would be disappointing if safety became associated with politics.


It would be great to have an “emergency host” function, which alerts a trusted group within the local nearby community that can help a Surfer who’s in a dangerous or shitty situation (rather than a last minute request). Even if a fellow Coucher found themselves in an accident or being injured while they’re travelling (not even surfing), it would be amazing to be able to press a button and have a bunch of folks to turn up to the hospital to support them.

Ideally there’s a strong verification system to ensure that there aren’t any hosts, surfers, people at meetups who would put other Couchers in a situation that requires an emergency response, but the best kind of Emergency response is one that is there but never gets a peep.


I hate this. Fantasy name and no real picture due to privacy and safety concerns on a place where you ask a stranger to trust you to stay in your house seems contradictory to me. IDK. Why should I trust an anonymous person? Profiles should have real names and real pictures of the person.

Based on my personal experience, all of those that I met who had on their profile their age set as over 100 years old revealed among the most awesome people I ever met.


I have created a map for cs community like leaders in the community maybe I can create one for here or integrate them for emergency use?

CS Active Communities Around the World