Uber reports 141 rapes and nearly 1,000 sex assaults in 2020 as ridership declines

·2 min read
Nam Y. Huh/AP

Rideshare company Uber said it saw 141 reports of rape and 998 reports of sexual assault overall in 2020, a drop in incidents as ridership also fell during the pandemic.

The company had 3,824 total reports of sexual assault between 2019 and 2020, compared with 5,981 reports from 2017 to 2018, it said in a newly released safety report.

The company’s second-ever safety report says that rides on the app decreased by as much as 80% during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which may have had a significant impact on the 38% decrease in the number of sexual assaults that occurred on rides.

Uber also noted that it introduced new safety features since its 2017-2018 report, including allowing riders to text 911 within the app, giving drivers more safety training, and creating the Uber Survivor Resources Hotline & Fund, a news release said.

The report also says that “99.9% of Uber trips ended without any safety-related issue at all,” but that “even just one critical safety incident is one too many.”

The company divided incidents of sexual assault and rape into five categories – non-consensual sexual penetration, kissing of a “sexual body part,” touching of a “sexual body part,” attempted non-consensual sexual penetration, and non-consensual kissing of a “non-sexual body part,” the report says.

Some of the findings from the report include:

  • Riders were the accused party in about 43% of incidents of rape or sexual assault among the five categories, similar to 45% of incidents in the 2017-2018 report

  • Drivers were the accused party in 56% of incidents among the five categories

  • Women were 81% of the survivors of rape incidents tied to Uber, while men made up 15% of those survivors

  • In 4% of incidents, the gender of the survivor was unknown

  • Uber works with law enforcement, but not all survivors choose to report incidents of rape or sexual assault to the police

The 78-page report adds that the company approaches safety in numerous ways and that the app has removed more than 80,000 drivers from the service due to continuous checks of criminal and motor vehicle records.

The company gave 1.4 billion rides in 2019 and 650 millionin the U.S. in 2020, coming out to an average of 2.8 million rides per day from 2019-2020, the report said.

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