When people decide to catch a lift home using a ride-sharing service, safety is often on their minds. Unfortunately, though, there have been many reports of sexual assaults in Uber and Lyft cars over the past few years. While this doesn't mean people should avoid using these apps so that they're not assaulted, Lyft driver Tro’Juan Henderson argues that it does mean people should look out for their friends before they get into these cars.
A drunk woman tried to hitch a ride with Henderson, he explained in a viral video posted to Twitter, but he didn't want her left in there alone. So after her friends refused to get in with her, he cancelled. Though he was confident that she would be safe with him, he wanted to let her friends know it wasn't OK to throw her in there in that state.
Aside from the possibility that she could have ended up with a less trustworthy driver, he was also concerned she could get scared in the back of a stranger's car all by herself while barely conscious. He was especially worried after the friend gave him the prospective rider's keys and told him to let her in. He didn't want her to regain consciousness with a stranger in her home.
"Even though I won’t rape or sexually assault this lady…as a friend, that puts your friend in a possibility of great danger," he explained.
Henderson learned about sexual assault prevention and the important role men play in it while taking calls for Austin's National Domestic Violence Hotline. "I remember going to a workshop and hearing a guy who, after a woman was raped, said, 'Aye man, boys will be boys.' Like basically that because we’re men, this is in our nature and we can’t control ourselves," he recounted to Elite Daily. "It was a shock. I knew that was wrong. From that point on, I knew I had to be more vocal. Men have to hold themselves more accountable."
If somebody gets sexually assaulted, the only person at fault is the perpetrator. But as Henderson points out, there is a lot that friends and other bystanders can do to help people stay safe — and feel safe.
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