While recent reports have shed a national spotlight on more than 103 cases of Lyft and Uber drivers assaulting and harassing riders, many more incidents of sexual violence occur that are not accounted for.
Our hotline staff and advocates have worked with survivors who were harassed, violated and assaulted and then dropped off at their homes, workplaces and schools. Uber and Lyft’s lack of action in requiring fingerprint-based background checks and failure to form a reporting system mean these acts of violence will continue.
At least two of these instances have been documented in Connecticut. A convicted felon driving for Uber was charged in July with sexually assaulting a young woman who was riding with him in Fairfield. That same month, a former Uber driver was charged with sexually assaulting a passenger whom he picked up in Stamford in February. The driver was later hired by Lyft.
To push for changes, The Alliance was joined by Senator Richard Blumenthal in demanding the following measures:
– creating transparent processes for removing unsafe drivers
– improving background checks and including fingerprinting
– sharing of information about banned drivers
– more trained staff to help field rider complaints
“The measures taken so far are minor and inadequate and that’s why we’re demanding more,” said Blumenthal.
These reports are heart-breaking and gut-wrenching…a culture of looking the other way has to stop,” said Blumenthal, who was joined by Beth Hamilton – Deputy Director of the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence
“Sexual violence should not be a consequence of taking a ride,” Hamilton said. “It’s time for Uber and Lyft to make meaningful change.”