Unfortunately, sexual assault in Rideshares is all too common.
"Uber’s 2019 safety report noted that 3,045 sexual assaults, 58 fatalities, and 9 fatal physical assaults were reported out of the 1.3 billion total rides completed in the prior year, 2018." (HelpingSurvivors)
Additionally, assaults are happening during rides to both passengers and drivers. (Forbes)
While rape or sexual assault are never the survivor's fault, we'd like to share this guide containing strategies to use rideshares more safely, as well as what to do if a situation does occur. This safety guide is written by the organization Helping Survivors of Sexual Abuse & Assault - a group that is doing amazing work. Not only do they have the rideshare safety resources, their resources cover a wide range of topics including childhood sexual abuse, sexual abuse within the Catholic church, and more. Thank you Helping Survivors for all that you do!
If you do choose to use ride sharing services, such as Uber or Lyft, we also suggest sharing your location with a friend on your smartphone for the duration of the ride. It doesn't help that often, riders choose to take Uber or Lyft when they have been drinking which can decrease their awareness of the situation. We urge readers who may become drunk during a night out to call a trusted sober friend or family member to pick them up, rather than ride with someone they don't know.
Remember that if something does happen to you - either as the driver or passenger - in a rideshare, you do have legal recourse. Tell someone immediately what happened. Document the details immediately by writing them down and emailing them to yourself - this way there is a time and date stamp on the event should you need it for future legal action. Screenshot the driver's information (or passenger's if you are the driver) and screenshot all the details of your ride. Include these in your email to yourself. If you have been raped, you may wish to visit a local hospital to have a rape kit performed - this can legally document the assault as well as potentially collect DNA from the perpetrator.
Of course we hope that these events decrease in frequency and that all of our readers stay safe. But know that in the unfortunate event that something does happen, help is available. You are not alone.
Thanks for checking out the Paper Crane blog, where we'll post photos and updates as we finish the film, as well as things we find important about rape/sexual violence in the media, women in film, and resources for survivors. We started this blog in February 2016, so if you'd like to see what we've been up to and what we've been posting even further back, visit us on Facebook!