Uber reported a total of 141 rapes and 998 sexual assaults in 2020, even as the company was crippled by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and passenger numbers plummeted, the company said. 2019-2020 US Security Report Released Thursday.
Uber received 3,824 reports of sexual assault and misconduct between 2019 and 2020, the second of its kind, according to the report.
That number is a 38% drop compared to the 5,981 incidents reported in 2017-2018, according to company data released in 2019.
The drop came at the same time as the country went into lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis and travel was limited to essential travel. According to Uber data, there were 1.4 billion travel reports in the US in 2019, that number dropped to 650 million in 2020 amid the pandemic.
“The change in the number of reports of sexual assault over time may have been influenced by a number of factors, including how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the use of the platform and Uber’s safety and security efforts. transparency,” Uber said in the report. But each reported incident represents a harrowing experience for the survivor. Even one report is one too many.”
Here are some of the more startling stats in the 78-page report:
- 141 reports of non-consensual sexual penetration or rape in 2020, up from 247 in 2019.
- In 2020, there were 998 cases of sexual assault in five categories: sexual penetration without consent, kissing without consent from a sexual body part, touching a sexual body part without consent, attempted sexual penetration without consent, kissing without consent from a non-sexual body part.
- In 2019, there were 2,826 incident reports in the five categories.
- From 2019 to 2020, drivers were accused of sexual assault 43% of the time, comparable to the Uber 2017-2018 report of 45%.
- Drivers were the accused 56% of the time in the 5 categories of sexual assault.
- In 2019 and 2020, the rape survivor was the driver in 91% of incident reports, the drivers were survivors in 7%
- Women made up 81% of rape survivors, men made up about 15% from 2019-2020, doubling from 7% reported in 2017 to 2018.
Uber released its first safety report in 2019 after it became increasingly critical on the heels of lawsuits from drivers alleging sexual abuse by drivers.
In Thursday’s report, in its commitment to safety on the platform, the ride-sharing agency said drivers are getting criminal background checks — a figure that more than 500,000 potential drivers failed over the 2019-2020 period.
More than 80,000 drivers have also been removed from the app so far due to ongoing criminal and motor vehicle checks, the report said.
Uber praised the rollout of sexual misconduct education for drivers on the platform and launched new product features such as trip reporting – “which allows drivers to discreetly report a non-emergency safety issue during a trip” – to improve rider safety.
The ride-sharing service also provides a Survivor Resources Hotline to support survivors who report sexual assault incidents through the Uber app, the report said.