Uber has released its first-ever safety report, which revealed a high number of sexual assaults that were reported by riders between 2017 and 2018.
According to the 84-page report, which was released on Thursday, a total of 5,981 reports of sexual assault were reported by Uber users in 2017 and 2018, with 464 reported instances of rape.
The data that was collected came from reports that were made directly to Uber through its app, website, and hotline; made by third parties; covered in the media; shared on social media; and/or filed with police.
The sexual abuse was broken down into several categories. Besides rape, it also included attempted rape; groping; unwanted kissing to the breast, buttocks or mouth; and unwanted kissing to a different body part.
In the cases of rape, groping, and unwanted kissing to a different body part in 2018, the number of reports increased from 2017. However, numbers went down for cases of attempted rape and unwanted kissing to the breast, buttocks or mouth.
“Each of those incidents represents an individual who has undergone a horrific trauma,” Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer, told NBC News. “But I’m not surprised by those numbers. And I’m not surprised because sexual violence is just much more pervasive in society than I think most people realize.”
RELATED: South Carolina College Student Found Dead After Entering Car She Apparently Thought Was an Uber
Uber, who hired the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Urban Institute to prepare the report, noted that drivers aren’t always the attackers.
“Drivers have a right to have their experiences told, and we have a responsibility to stand with them—so that we can create the safest possible environment for drivers and their passengers,” the company stated.
In 45 percent of the reports, riders were accused of inappropriate behaviors, though a majority of them (92 percent) were reported as victims when it came to rapes.
Women and female-identifying individuals were also cited as 89 percent of the victims, while with men and male-identifying individuals made up about 8 percent of victims. Gender minorities accounted for less than 1 percent of victims.
Aside from sexual assaults, Uber also disclosed data on fatal crashes and assaults. Between 2017 and 2018, 107 people died in a car crash operated by an Uber driver, which was reported to be about half of the national motor vehicle fatality rate.
Nineteen people were also killed in fatal assaults during Uber rides — eight of which were reported to be riders, while seven were drivers and four were third-parties or bystanders.
Besides using data from 2017 and 2018, Uber said incidents resolved on or before October 31, 2019, were also included in the report.
Despite what may seem like staggering data, West emphasized that a majority of rides end safely for both the driver and rider, especially after establishing safety features like an In-App Emergency Button and rigorous background checks.
“We do four million rides a day. That’s 45 trips per second,” West told NBC News. “And when you’re operating at that kind of scale, thankfully, 99.9 percent of those rides end with absolutely no safety incident whatsoever.”
The report comes nearly a year after CNN exposed that at least 103 Uber drivers had been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the previous four years, according to the outlet.
The company came under major scrutiny after the investigation, which led them to roll out a series of safety features.
According to the report, Uber is continuing to develop additional features to ensure both the rider and driver have an enjoyable and safe experience, including a verification PIN code, a feature to send a text message directly to 911 operators and reporting incidents to the company before the trip ends.
Another safety report is scheduled to come out in two years, the company stated.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
Source: Read Full Article