Uber releases safety report revealing 5,981 reports of sexual assault

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				REUTERS

Enlarge Image REUTERS

The vast majority of those had no problem, it noted, placing that number at 99.9 percent.

Uber drivers reported almost as many allegations of sexual assault as passengers, who made 56 percent of the claims. Drivers reported sexual assaults at roughly the same rate as passengers though in 92 percent of the reported rapes the passenger was the victim.

Of these incidents, riders were accused as the perpetrator 45% of the time.

Experts note that sexual assault is a chronically underreported issue, however, and the figures were likely to undercount the true prevalence of sexual offenses on the app.

Another safety report is scheduled to come out in two years, the company stated.

Uber received 464 cases of nonconsensual penetration over two years, and 587 reports of attempted nonconsensual penetration in 2017 and 2018. However, as its report noted, sexual assaults are often not reported, so the actual numbers could be much higher.

Across 2017 and 2018, 107 people died in crashes involving Uber vehicles, and 19 were killed in physical assaults during or soon after a ride. 90% of all fatal accidents occurred in urban areas. But many say they haven't gone far enough to protect passengers and drivers, who are contract workers for the companies.

On Thursday, Uber said it would regularly share data with Lyft and other companies about drivers accused of serious safety lapses and continue publishing safety reports every two years. It also comes against the backdrop of the company's quest to regain public trust under CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, following a series of scandals under previous leadership.

Both Baker and Uber's legal chief say the company may see an increase in reports of sexual misconduct in the future.

RALIANCE Business: Uber is teaming up with RALIANCE, leaders in sexual violence awareness and prevention, to create a resource center that will help companies adopt consistent, fact-based standards and strategies and improve how they respond to, prevent, and publicly report on sexual violence. "The moment is now for companies to confront it, count it, and work together to end it".

Whilst that sounds pretty harrowing at face value, 1.3 billion rides were taken in the US last year, which means that the number of unsafe incidents makes up just 0.0002 percent of total rides.

Uber mentioned developments like its In-app safety button, as well as new changes.

Safety issues with ride-hailing apps aren't limited to domestic companies.

Last month, London refused to renew Uber's license to operate in the city, after reports of safety issues concerning impostor drivers.

"As experts in this field, we know first-hand that sexual harassment and abuse occur in all industries because they are a part of our larger society".

Scarce outside data on sexual assaults or deactivations at Uber exist. "That's because when it becomes clear that Uber is paying close attention to reports of sexual violence and taking action, survivors may feel more comfortable coming forward", it said. "We believe it's time for a new approach", the company said in explaining the study. Uber stock is down slightly in pre-marketing trading Friday.

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