The leading taxi company Uber revealed its Safety Report on Thursday. According to the report, there were 235 rapes reported in 2018 throughout the United States. Between January 2018 and December 2018, there were 235 complaints of people who claimed to have been raped while riding an Uber vehicle. The perpetrators were either drives or other passengers.

Uber’s Safety Report

Uber released its Safety Report on December 5, 2019. The report provided data compiled over a period of two years. It highlighted the number of assaults, accidents, sexual abuse and homicides that happened in their vehicles. The numbers are for 2017 and 2018.

The number of rape incidents reported in 2017 was 229. However, this number increased in 2018 to 235. Both the figures stand against a total of 5 million rides in a year in the US. The incidents varied on a case-by-case basis. According to Uber’s statistics, 54 per cent of the perpetrators were the drivers. The remaining 45 per cent, however, were co-passengers. The remaining one per cent was a third person, or someone who could not be identified.

“I suspect many people will be surprised at how rare these incidents are; others will understandably think they’re still too common. Some people will appreciate how much we’ve done on safety; others will say we have more work to do. They will all be right.”

The report showed that about 92 percent of the victims of rape were riders. However, seven percent of the victims were drivers. A majority of the victims were women: about 89 percent. Only about eight percent of men were victims. Fewer than one percent of victims identified as gender minorities.

Uber’s chief legal officer, Tony West, talked about the incidents. “Each of those incidents represents an individual who has undergone a horrific trauma. 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 realise.”

Rising Sexual Harassment

When it comes to cases of sexual harassment, however, the number rose to 3,000 in 2018. In 2017, the company counted 2,936 reported sexual assaults. This includes non-consensual kissing, touching, and attempted rape. Uber did not detail whether the reporting parties were victims, or go into statistical details for these categories.  The company bases its numbers on reports from riders and drivers. This means that the actual numbers could be much higher because sexual assaults commonly go unreported. “The numbers are jarring and hard to digest. What it says is that Uber is a reflection of the society it serves” said Tony West, according to the New York Times. 

Also Read: Bangalore Woman Claims That Uber’s Safety Button Is Flawed 

The taxi company first pledged to release the report nearly a year ago in response to a CNN investigation. The investigation found at least 103 of its drivers in the United States had been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the previous four years.

Other Numbers In The Report

The Safety Report not only reported the numbers of sexual abuse but also homicides and accidents. According to the report a total of nine people were killed inside an Uber vehicle in 2018. The number is one less than the 10 people killed in 2017. As for accidents, 58 people died in traffic accidents while riding in an Uber car last year.

Also Read: Mumbai Woman Verbally Abused And Physically Assaulted In Uber Pool 

The report showed that about 92 percent of the victims of rape were riders. However, seven percent of the victims were drivers. A majority of the victims were women: about 89 percent. Only about eight percent of men were victims. Fewer than one percent of victims identified as gender minorities.

Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, tweeted about the report. “I suspect many people will be surprised at how rare these incidents are; others will understandably think they’re still too common. Some people will appreciate how much we’ve done on safety; others will say we have more work to do. They will all be right.”

Also Read: Uber Gender Sensitises Drivers 

Picture Credit: NDTV

Prapti is an intern at SheThePeople.TV

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