Uber’s new safety report reveals over 3,000 sexual assaults reported in 2018
Uber is working on solutions, but will it be enough?
In 2018, more than 3,045 passengers reported sexual assault, which is an increase from 2,936 from the year prior. 229 of the 3,045 of these cases being alleged rapes.
This news comes out of a backdrop of Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s push for an increase in rider safety and awareness of rider-committed crimes. Last year, the company partnered with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center in order to create a system on the app to report sexual crimes.
In October of this year, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, and US Congressman, Peter DeFazio (D-OR) blasted both Uber and Lyft for their lack of safety precautions. DeFazio says he is “insulted that companies would lobby against safety requirements.”
Uber releases its annual safety report that shows an increase in sexual crimes
Tony West, Uber’s Chief Legal Officer, wrote a blog post sharing his own viewpoints on this year’s report. He writes that the company now employs over 300 people working in its safety department to help facilitate reports of sexual assault.
Still, West sees that there are ways to improve the way Uber can help its passengers.
Most companies don’t talk about issues like sexual violence because doing so risks inviting negative headlines and public criticism. But we feel it’s time for a new approach. As someone who has prosecuted sex crimes and worked on these issues for more than 25 years, I can tell you that a new approach is sorely needed.
Uber is adding more robust background checks, along with an In-App Emergency Button where passengers can alert the company. The company also wants to check in with customer’s more to learn more by looking into rides that stop for prolonged periods of time. Finally, there is the upcoming option to record your ride to help prevent crimes.
Regardless of what Uber says, actions speak louder than words. Let’s hope that there is a significant decrease in sexual crimes rather than an increase in them.
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