Uber’s sexual assault problem is no secret, but a new safety report voluntarily released by the ride-hailing company on Thursday reveals the shocking extent of the ongoing crisis.
In the 84-page, self-released report, Uber revealed the company receives thousands of sexual assault and misconduct reports a year, NBC News reported.
The startling data includes 235 reports of rape, 280 reports of attempted rape, 1,560 reports of groping, 376 reports of unwanted kissing to the breast, buttocks or mouth, and 594 reports of unwanted kissing to a different body part.
In total, the report reveals Uber received 5,981 reports of sexual abuse between 2017 and 2018. While riders are typically the victims in many of the company’s higher-profile sexual assault cases — such as those lodged by four female survivors in 2018 — Uber’s report claims passengers were actually the accused party in 45 percent of the reports filed.
“Each of those incidents represents an individual who has undergone a horrific trauma,” Uber’s chief legal officer Tony West told NBC News. “But I’m not surprised by those numbers,” he added. “I’m not surprised because sexual violence is just much more pervasive in society than I think most people realize.”
Uber says it plans to combat these harrowing statistics by ramping up background checks and implementing new safety features. The company will also release a safety report every two years.
Uber has received praise for its transparency in releasing the shocking report. “It’s unprecedented,” said Karen Baker, chief executive officer of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. “And it’s very refreshing. It’s absolutely what needs to happen to bring this out of the shadows.”
Baker went on to praise Uber for “setting a new high bar for corporate responsibility and transparency.”
“We had to measure what was happening on our platform,” said West. “We know in business, if you don’t measure it, you can’t address it.”
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