Back to top

Solo female riders - do you feel safe on WarmShowers?

2 příspěvky / nových: 0
Poslední
Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Solo female riders - do you feel safe on WarmShowers?

Hi riders.

I am a 26 year old young woman on my first bike tour and wanted to get some feedback from other young women about their experiences on WarmShowers. I've had many wonderful hosts on this tour who I will remember forever, but also two very negative experiences where I had to flee from hosts in a hurry. In the first case I arrived and the host was drunk, pressuring me to drink alcohol, and asked me to sleep in his bed with him. I left in the first hour without ever unpacking my bags and slept in the park instead. The second kept staring at my chest, and I came home to my belongings thrown in the yard while he stood over me yelling in his underwear that I was abusive and a liar since I hadn't spent enough time with him that day (?). For the second one, I was honestly scared for my safety and rode away as fast as I could, since this was some seriously aggressive and bizarre behaviour. Both of these hosts had dozens of positive reviews from other guests and hosts and had been active in the community for a long time, but it seems as a young woman, positive reviews are not enough to protect you from sexual harassment and intimidation.

Is this a common occurrence? I am surprised to have such harrowing experiences with well-reviewed hosts, and I'm wondering if my experiences are common among solo woman riders specifically. 

Also, is there a way to block or report users? The second host is sending me unsolicited text messages calling me names and I'm afraid he will do this on the WarmShowers messaging too.

FP Promote: 
Not on Front Page
Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Twoey, sorry to hear you had

Twoey, sorry to hear you had these experiences. I am curious to know if anyone from WS has reached out to you about this as I do not see any replies to your post. I hope this has not deterred you from touring.

edit- Now I see you had just posted this yesterday. I will follow along to see any feedback from the site admins. 

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
This is very sad to hear :(.

This is very sad to hear :(. I just checked and apparently there is no possiblity to report and block users, which is not understandable as most social networks provide that function today.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Block feature

Thanks Johny. I agree, I hope this feature can be introduced down the road.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Sorry to read of your bad experiences.

Might I suggest that you post really negative feedback for these people without pulling punches. They deserve to be named, and if it is not possible to block them on the site, at least tell others of your experience so that travelers can avoid them if they feel the need. Don't let these bad apples ruin your, or others, lives.

Ride safe, Barry

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Sorry to read of your bad experiences.

Might I suggest that you post really negative feedback for these people without pulling punches. They deserve to be named, and if it is not possible to block them on the site, at least tell others of your experience so that travelers can avoid them if they feel the need. Don't let these bad apples ruin your, or others, lives.

Ride safe, Barry

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Thanks Barry. For the first

Thanks Barry. For the first (inappropriately flirtatious host) I did post a negative review. For the second, I am honestly concerned about drawing more attention to myself from him and haven't yet posted a review. I've reached out to the WarmShowers team to report the individual and am waiting for a response.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Sorry to read of your bad experiences.

Might I suggest that you post really negative feedback for these people without pulling punches. They deserve to be named, and if it is not possible to block them on the site, at least tell others of your experience so that travelers can avoid them if they feel the need. Don't let these bad apples ruin your, or others, lives.

Ride safe, Barry

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Hi! I've had 99% positive

Hi! I've had 99% positive experiences with hosts, only one was offensive.  He had positive feedback too, so now I make sure that the hosts are rated positively, especially by women traveling alone.  I wrote the host a negative review to warn other women and reported him on warm showers.  A feature to block him (so he doesn't see my location) would be great.

save travels! :)

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Thanks for the reply Marie. I

Thanks for the reply Marie. I'm glad your interactions have been mostly positive. What was the result of reporting your host? I'm waiting to hear back from the WarmShowers team about further action around the second host, and am wondering if bans from the website are possible since I have serious concerns about this person.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
I am back hosting on

I am back hosting on Warmshowers after a long gap. I quit - maybe 10 years ago - because there was a person looking for places to stay who had been convicted of sexually abusing fraternity pledges at the fraternity where he was an officer. When I contacted Warmshowers about this, they said it was none of their business and the responsibility of the hosts to verify any guests. We're not talking about a person with some bad reviews - we're talking about someone with a clear conviction of sexual abuse. Internet lodging / dating / meet-up sites are ripe for misuse - especially by skilled predators. Yes, it does make things more difficult for administration, but there should be a way to red-flag (with appeals) problematic hosts and guests.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
This is horrific. Sorry you

This is horrific. Sorry you had this experience, and very worrisome that this was disregarded by the admins. I received a reply to my email to the WarmShowers team who said they would reach out to investigate further, but I haven't heard back since. Tough to know what to do.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
this is very serious

this is an issue that should concern all of us -- the safety of fellow bicyclists.  

I think WARMSHOWERS should have some method of identifying, and ejecting, hosts who harass cyclists.  and I realize this will be a Process.  

Gerhardt

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Thanks for all your comments

Thanks for all your comments everyone. At this point I have not received follow-up from WarmShowers about my concerns but will keep this thread posted if anything results.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
don't hesitate

to restart the question to WS ..Be persistent 

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Twoey, sorry to hear what

Twoey, sorry to hear what happened to you. Having said this, you must write a review (most likely negative) about the two individuals you mention. This will warn future guests to avoid staying with them. You must do this asap regardless of WS's follow up. Hope you have future best experiences on WS.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
put their names on forum

put their name on forum could help  too , give them a feedback, but sure WS have to ask them about their behaviour.  i just red on some profile one time of a guy was very insistent at approaching a female guest, and she closed her self in a room and call police yes,  I never heard of a male that call police about a female haras him so  don t esitate, don t esitate call police.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
don't forget the WS-group on FB

Gosh, Towey, that sounds so horrible! I can't even imagine what I'd done in such a situation.

I agreen with the others: give them a negative review in any case AND don't forget the facebook-group WS has running. It should be enough to mention there that you've had bad experiences. Ppl. will go and check your feedback and thus identify the bad guys.

OTOH I do understand that it is not easy for WS-staff to block users. I know of many false reports of sexual harrassment in my circle of friends and it's no secret that even police has a hard time to tell fake from fact...  yet, at least they should keep track and block offenders if they get reported repeatedly.

Safe & joyious travels!

Andrea

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Thanks for your reply Andrea.

Thanks for your reply Andrea. At the very least I would love if WarmShowers could introduce a feature to block members from messaging you. I have already blocked the phone number of the unsafe host I mentioned (he continued to harass me over text following my escape) but the only reason I haven't posted a negative review is because he can continue to harass me as much as he wants on the WarmShowers site. If there was a way to prevent him from messaging me personally, I would be able to warn others not to stay with him.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele patiras
Surprised with the lack of response from WS

I am a new member and after reading this post, I am scared of even trying to use WS on my own… it is very sad that there isn’t a way to contact these « bad apples », as someone called the in a previous post and let them know that they can’t host anymore. Or, at least let other users know that they might be in danger. 

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Hi all. I've received several

Hi all. I've received several personal messages from other riders since starting this thread and I'm disheartened to hear of similar experiences. We are headed into September, and I have yet to hear from WarmShowers about the safety issue I raised in July.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Hello all, Warmshowers here. 

Hello all, Warmshowers here.  Please report through the contact us form - any concerns you have and our trust and safety team will review each one.  The best way to handle it is to post a feedback with honest information without disparaging remarks, swear words, or name calling.  We see each negative review and ensure it follows the guidelines.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele travelinhobo
Altho I'm now signed up with

Altho I'm now signed up with WS, I never used it when I toured. I'm female and have bike 21 countries in Europe (3 tours) plus Venezuela (with a bike partner) and the 5 eastern provinces of Canada. For the last 7 yrs I've lived on my bike here in the states. As a solo female tourer, I'm a rarity. As a female living on her bike, a rarity x 10. Before there was couch surfing, I was couch surfing on my tours. Not all the time, but enough. I can only think of one instance (France, maybe Montpellier) when I walked out on the male host, but not because of aggression or sexual advances. It happens and then you have stories to tell. As females, we will never be seen as equals nor treated as such. With that said, it is odd that these 2 hosts had positive reviews. However, too many people don't like to rock the boat or they fear some type of retaliation if they were to say smthg. So maybe you weren't the first (human behavior is not original) they treated in such a way. Either way, it is surprising that WS is ignoring you. Do not ignore what happened - review any negative hosts you have just as you would positive hosts. If this 2nd nut case doesn't have your personal info, he can't do anything to you. So stop fearing what "might" happen. Carry pepper spray with you if you tour in the states and carry on. Your confidence level and how you hold yourself makes a big difference in how guys respond to you.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Hey Cheryl, good news. I got

Hey Cheryl, good news. I got an email from WarmShowers yesterday that they are now looking into it, although I'm not sure quite what that entails.

I agree that confidence and self-assuredness go a long way when travelling as a woman, which is why I trust my gut when something feels off (part of why I never unpacked at the first place I mentioned. I regret not taking off at the first sign of trouble at the second, but we live on).

I consider myself pretty street smart and of course, this is far from the first time I have navigated sexual harassment in my life. I think there can sometimes be an assumption that harassment happens to women who are too meek or unworldly -- certainly weridos exploit naivety, but it's not just Polyannas who encounter weirdos.

Ultimately, yes, I will probably leave the second host a negative review if WarmShowers doesn't want to take further action, but I do think since WarmShowers reports to have a Trust and Safety Committee, there exists a little bit of responsibility to follow up. I was fine to run off from those situations and continue touring, but when I imagined sending a younger girl into a scenario like this, it made me feel like something must be done.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Response from WarmShowers

Hello all! Happy to report that I received a response today from Tahverlee at WarmShowers. I was informed that the second host (the worse one) was issued a warning and informed that if he contacted me further he would be banned. Likewise I was told not to contact him, which I have no interest in doing anyways.

With this boundary in place I felt like I could leave an honest review and did so. I'm overall satisfied with that as a solution, and I hope it protects other riders.

Thanks to the women who messaged me to share stories and wisdom, and to others who showed support. This has not been my first experience with harassment, and it won't be the last, but it's good to know we're looking out for each other! Sending love and happy trails to all.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Solo women

Its  release pressure  ,satisfying news.

Člen WS Obrázek uživatele Člen WS
Solo women

Its  release pressure  ,satisfying news.