Have you been sexually harassed by an Uber or Lyft driver? Is so, you are not alone. Sexual harassment happens all too often when using these ride sharing services. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, either verbal or physical. These may include direct requests for sexual favors, or may be types of offensive, humiliating, or intimidating behavior toward a person that is unwelcome because of its sexual nature. You may be wondering what you should do if you’ve been sexually harassed by an Uber or Lyft driver before.
Here are 8 tips put together by our Sexual Assault Victim Advocates:
- Do not engage with the driver if they are asking you inappropriate questions or commentary.
- Share your location with a friend or family member.
- Discretely send a text to that person and let them know what’s happening.
- If possible, use the in-app emergency 911 service to alert the police.
- Document everything you remember about the incident in detailed written notes. This may help you recall details if you file a civil case.
- Work with police to report the assault to the ridesharing company.
- Seek help and support. Take solace in your family and friends, seek therapy, and find any necessary medical attention as soon as possible.
- Consult with an experienced rideshare assault lawyer. A compassionate attorney can give you valuable counsel and support during this incredibly tough time.
Here at Estey & Bomberger, we represent many women who have dealt with sexual harassment and sexual assault. One of the things that makes us unique is that for every sexual assault case we handle, each survivor is paired with one of our three Sexual Assault Victim Advocates. They are provided with personalized care, emotional support, trauma-informed services and resources, and regular updates about their case. We believe that healing from sexual assault is not a journey meant to be done alone. We are by your side.
Did an Uber or Lyft driver touch you and make you feel uncomfortable?
If your Uber or Lyft driver put his hands on your without your permission, did you know that is considered sexual assault? You may be eligible for filing a claim against the rideshare company and you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Sexual assault is defined as “an act in which a person intentionally sexually touches another person without that person’s consent, or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will.”
All too often we hear stories of Uber or Lyft drivers who have touched passengers without any kind of consent, especially when they have a female passenger who has been drinking. You did not ask to be touched and you did not deserve what happened to you. Assign responsibility where it belongs: on the driver who committed sexual assault and on Uber or Lyft for hiring the driver. Drinking isn’t a crime. Sexual assault is.
Contact us right away if you are the victim of sexual assault. Consultations are 100% confidential and 100% free. If we take your case, there are no upfront fees at all to get us started on your case. You pay only if we win your case.
Additional Information on Rideshare Sexual Harassment
Thousands of women have reported being sexually harassed by drivers of both Uber and Lyft. While Uber reported it added a panic button in 2018 in response to complaints of passenger safety, reports of sexual misconduct among drivers continue to pour in from traumatized customers. As for Lyft, no such “emergency button” exists.
The problem of rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, other sex crimes, kidnapping, and physical assaults by rideshare drivers remain too high in the rideshare industry. Unfortunately, some of the drivers that work for these companies seem to think that harassing women by asking for personal information (“Do you have a boyfriend? What is your phone number?”) is somehow acceptable when it is not. In fact, so many women feel unsafe using rideshare services that they no longer ride alone (if at all). Too many Lyft and Uber drivers have crossed the line and yet still remain on the Lyft and Uber app.
In a recent 84-page safety report released just last year by Uber, details revealing reports of Uber passenger rape, rideshare sexual assault, and other forms of sexual violence by rideshare drivers. that the company received 235 reports of a rape – an average of four a week – in 2018. That number was higher than the previous year. The report also detailed the following:
- 1,560 reports of groping in 2018, up from 1,440 in 2017
- 376 reports of unwanted kissing to the breast, buttocks, or mouth in 2018, down from 390 in 2017
- 594 reports of unwanted kissing to a different body part in 2018, up from 570 in 2017
- 280 reports of attempted rape in 2018, down from 307 in 2017
In all, Uber received nearly 6,000 reports of sexual abuse between 2017 and 2018 in the United States alone. The problem is, sexual harassment isn’t on this list, and the number of unreported sexual harassment incidents is massive. Even in the case of sexual assault and rape, a great number of victims do not report the incident to law enforcement, so this number is likely much, much higher. That means that no legal action is occurring, and in the case of sexual harassment, many of these drivers are permitted to continue driving even when a customer complains.
As for Lyft, they do not have a report like the one Uber has released, yet Lyft also has a disturbing number of women reporting these incidents.
How can I protect myself from a potential sexual assault from a rideshare driver?
- Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, pass up the ride and find another one.
- Stay with your friends, even if it’s on the phone, so someone knows where you are
- Carry pepper spray in your purse
- Know your alcohol limits – you cannot keep yourself safe it you don’t have your wits about you
- Remain watchful and aware of your surroundings
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