Uber safety report reveals 6,000 sexual assaults in 2 years
Uber’s first safety report released this week has revealed almost 6,000 sexual assaults committed during 2017 and 2018.
Ahiza Garcia and Sara O’Brien had the news for CNN:
Uber released its highly-anticipated safety report on Thursday revealing, among other details, that it received 5,981 reports of sexual assault in 2017 and 2018.
Among those, there were 464 reports of rape.
The report, which comes more than a year after a CNN investigation into sexual assault and abuse on the ride-hailing service, also noted there were 19 deaths caused by physical assault during 2017 and 2018.
In its report, Uber repeatedly attempted to contextualize the number of sexual assaults as a percentage of total rides, saying from the start that 99.9% of rides occur without incident. It also contextualized its incidents of sexual assault and homicide by citing national rates.
The report included information on the reporting party and the accused party and claimed riders account for 45% of the accused parties of sexual assault incidents. The report said “drivers have a right to have their experiences told, and we have a responsibility to stand with them.”
The report showed that about 92% of the victims of rape were riders and about 7% of the victims were drivers. Women and female-identifying individuals made up 89% of the victims with men and male-identifying individuals comprising about 8% of victims. Fewer than 1% of victims identified as gender minorities.
The other four categories of sexual assault defined by Uber — including non-consensual kissing, non-consensual touching and attempted rape — did not detail whether the reporting parties were victims.
CNBC’s Lora Kolodny reported:
The ride-hailing company and peers, including Lyft, have been criticized over these personal safety issues for years. Uber has seen an uptick in lawsuits over sexual assaults that allegedly occurred between riders and drivers in recent years.
Thursday’s report also revealed that Uber received 235 reports of rape — the most serious category of sexual assault — during rides in 2018, an average of four reported incidents a week in the states. That was a worse rate than the 229 reports of rape that the company received in 2017.
Drivers and passengers using Uber’s ride-hailing service are both at risk. Riders accounted for 45% of accused parties across the 5 most serious sexual assault categories, Uber said in its report. (Some riders reportedly assaulted other riders.) However, 92% of the reported rapes were allegedly committed by drivers.
“Voluntarily publishing a report that discusses these difficult safety issues is not easy,” wrote Tony West, chief legal officer at Uber in the report.
Nick Statt from The Verge wrote:
Uber says users took 3.1 million trips per day on the its platform during the period between 2017 and the end of 2018 in which it was gathering data, and there were also 1.3 billion trips in total in the US last year. Uber says there were 36,000 auto-related deaths in 2018 and 20,000 homicides in 2017, to put the company’s incident numbers in context.
Of the 3,045 reported sexual assault cases in 2018 (up from 2,936 in 2017), Uber says 235 were rapes and the remainder were varying levels of assault. A vast majority involved unwanted kissing or groping, Uber says, and it broke down such assaults into 21 categories. Drivers are reporting assaults at roughly the same rate as riders, the report specifies, including across the five most serious forms of sexual assault.
However, those numbers may be far higher in reality, given sexual assault often goes unreported. Uber’s only provided contextual data point in a blog post announcing the safety report findings is that “nearly 44% of women in the US have been a victim of sexual violence in their lifetime.”