WASHINGTON, DC (May 23, 2022) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) recognizes Uber and Lyft with its Dignity Defense Award for stepping up as industry leaders in the fight against sexual violence in the transportation industry.
“Sexual assault and harassment on transportation services is such a common occurrence that Congress is now considering new legislation to combat the issue. Popular rideshare companies, Uber and Lyft, have not been immune to this trend, but unlike other institutions that try to bury sexual assault cases, both companies have taken the opposite approach: bringing the problem to light in order to root it out. For that, we award Uber and Lyft with our Dignity Defense Award,” said Lina Nealon, director of corporate and strategic initiatives for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
In 2018, Uber and Lyft both committed to releasing transparency reports that would publicly disclose statistics on sexual assaults occurring in their vehicles. Uber followed through with its first transparency report in 2019, and Lyft did so in 2021. Disclosing data on sexual assaults was a bold and admirable move that set a new standard for transparency in the industry.
Uber and Lyft also embraced public accountability by ending the widespread practice of mandatory arbitration for individual claims of sexual assault or harassment. In 2018, Uber strengthened driver screenings by proactively committing to re-run criminal background and motor vehicle checks each year. In 2018 and 2019 respectively, Uber and Lyft both added a button in their app that directly connects riders or drivers to 911. Uber added an app feature that allows riders to share live trip information with up to five trusted contacts, while Lyft added a “check-in” feature, which would ask unexpectedly delayed drivers or riders if they are safe and prompt them to get emergency assistance if not. In 2020, Uber and Lyft collaborated to launch an “industry sharing safety program,” through which the two companies and other transportation services disclose among each other the names of drivers who have been banned over sexual assaults or other serious safety violations.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation commends Uber and Lyft for taking sexual violence seriously, accepting responsibility for the role their services play in facilitating harm, and making substantive changes to become part of the solution.
NCOSE’s Dignity Defense Award is a campaign recognizing the people, companies, and nonprofits, who are taking action to defend human dignity from any form of sexual abuse or exploitation. Read more here.
About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.