Olivia Harvey
December 06, 2019 7:37 am

Uber published its much-anticipated 2017-2018 safety report on December 5th, 2019. In it, the company disclosed that more than 3,000 sexual assaults took place in Uber vehicles in 2018 alone. As stated by The Washington Post, this is the first time Uber has been this transparent about the scale of safety issues that take place within the realm of its ride-sharing empire. Now, it’s time to hear what Uber is going to do about it.

NurPhoto, Getty Images

In the full report, Uber broke down two-years’ worth of sexual misconduct claims into 21 categories and published data on the five most serious. According to the report, in 2018, Uber received 235 reports of non-consensual sexual penetration, 280 reports of attempted non-consensual sexual penetration, and 1,560 reports of non-consensual touching of a sexual body part, all of which occurred within its approved ride-share vehicles.

Though Uber saw an overall 16% decrease in sexual assault in Uber vehicles between 2017 and 2018—a decrease the company credits to its “substantial investments in safety over the past 2 years”—it realizes that this decrease may be negated because riders may feel more comfortable coming forward with their reports in the future, having seen how seriously Uber (hopefully) takes them.

Therefore, this report may not tell the full story of how much sexual assault actually took place between 2017 and 2018.

In 2018, Uber partnered with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Urban Institute to better classify its reports of sexual assault.

The company has also connected with local law enforcement officials, road safety organizations, and more than 200 gender-based violence prevention experts, including the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence, to make its ride-sharing network a safer system.

Uber reports its safety team has tripled in size since 2017, and the company is dedicated to making its customers feel safe. It’s working on integrating a driver-verification PIN feature into their app, as well as a 911 texting feature so customers can discreetly request help if needed.

The company hopes it will lead the way in transforming the ride-sharing industry into a safer environment. We’re anxious to see how this new transparency works out for the company.

If you are a sexual assault survivor and need help, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to speak to a trained counselor. You can also chat online with a counselor here. Both services are available 24/7.

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