Woman told by website to leave first person review detailing sexual assault
Hotels around the world at the centre of sexual assault allegations are continuing to be promoted on TripAdvisor, despite some complainants contacting the travel company to warn them of alleged attacks by staff members.
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TripAdvisor is the largest travel site in the world, with 456 million people visiting the site every month to search for accommodation and other hospitality sites ranked according user reviews.
But two women who alleged they were raped by staff employed by businesses currently promoted on TripAdvisor said the company is failing its duty to public safety in the way it handles such complaints. They said they fear others are at risk without information about prior alleged incidents being made visible on the business page.
In emails seen by the Guardian, a woman called K approached TripAdvisor to say she had been raped by a tour guide whose business was being promoted on the website. After contacting the hotel where he worked and reporting him to the police, K wanted to warn other tourists.
TripAdvisor responded by suggesting K could leave a first person review detailing her sexual assault on the website.
I was in disbelief. Am I seriously being asked to recall the humiliating details of my own sexual assault? Was this global company pushing me to relive my trauma on their forum for everyone to see and comment, or worse of all for the perpetrator who is still out there, to respond to me, troll me?, said K. It left me feeling shattered, hopeless and alone.
TripAdvisor told K they did not remove a business from their site if a staff member was accused of sexual assault or rape, even temporarily to conduct an internal review. The company then shared five links with K of reviews detailing sexual assault and rape, allegedly committed by staff at different hotels, as examples of how she might write her own review.