San Francisco, December 6
American ride-hailing giant Uber has disclosed that between January and December 2018, it received 235 complaints from people who claimed to have been raped while they were riding on some of their cars in the US.
The San Francisco-headquartered company on Thursday published its Safety Report in the US, which provides data compiled in 2017 and 2018 on sexual abuse, homicides and fatal traffic accidents occurred in vehicles that are part of its platform, Efe news reported.
The number of rape incidents - defined as non-consensual sexual penetration - rose slightly compared to the 2017 figure, which stood at 229 cases.
The incidence for both years was approximately one out of every 5 million trips made by the company in the US.
Uber users reported around 3,000 cases of sexual harassment in vehicles last year, along with non-consensual kissing, touching and attempted rape.
The company pointed out that the case-load was very varied and that the complainants included both passengers who have been victims of drivers and vice versa, as well as passengers who had been sexually assaulted by other passengers.
In fact, Uber specified that while 54 per cent of those accused of sexual harassment were drivers, 45 per cent were passengers, and the remaining 1 per cent was third person or someone who couldn't be identified.
"Each of those incidents represents an individual who has undergone a horrific trauma. But I'm not surprised by those numbers. And I'm not surprised because sexual violence is just much more pervasive in society than I think most people realize," said Uber's chief legal officer, Tony West.
As for homicides, a total of nine people were killed inside an Uber vehicle in 2018, one less than the 10 killed in 2017.
In addition, 58 people died in traffic accidents while riding in an Uber car last year, one for every 20 million trips made by the company on US territory. IANS
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