People hire rideshare drivers to help them get where they need to go. Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are convenient and affordable alternatives to public transportation or using a personal vehicle. Unfortunately, some rideshare drivers take advantage of their position and sexually harass or assault their fares. This is unacceptable.
You may be alarmed to discover just how many rideshare drivers take advantage of their fares and sexually assault them. In 2019, a U.S. Safety Report revealed that over 6,000 sexual assault claims were made in 2017 and 2018 by Uber passengers against Uber drivers. There were also numerous claims made against Lyft drivers.
If you have been sexually assaulted by a rideshare driver, you should know that you are not alone. Furthermore, you have options to hold the rideshare driver accountable for his or her actions.
Examples of Rideshare Sexual Assault
There are many different actions that can be classified as sexual assault. The fundamental element that ties them together is that you did not consent to the action. Here are some examples of rideshare sexual assault:
- Physical contact without your consent
- Sexual intercourse without your consent (includes oral and anal sex)
- Using a foreign object to penetrate the victim
- Sexual harassment, including touching, verbal harassment, inappropriate jokes, unwanted explicit photos
- Sexual contact with a minor
- Sexual molestation
- Possession or distribution of child pornography
As you can see, sexual assault does not necessarily mean that you have been physically touched or raped. Of course, sexual assault includes these tragic acts, but also includes much more. Never write-off inappropriate or harassing behaviors as just someone being funny or making jokes. If you are uncomfortable or have been harmed by someone, take action.
What to Do if You Have been Sexually Assaulted by a Rideshare Driver
Rideshare drivers are trusted to obey the law and keep their passengers safe during transport. When that does not happen, passengers should know that it is okay to speak up and take action. Put together by Atlanta sexual assault attorneys, here are some important steps to take to protect yourself and pursue justice:
If you are able to do so, seek medical attention immediately. If you need assistance, call 911 and explain your situation. When you are at the hospital, tell your healthcare provider what happened. If you were raped, request a rape kit be collected.
If you are able, request that the police file an official report about your assault. Sometimes they will come to the hospital, or you can arrange a meeting with them later. Do your best to recall everything you can about the assault:
- The name of the driver
- The type of vehicle
- The location and time of the assault
- Any details about the driver that might be relevant
If you used an app to schedule your ride, provide that information to police as well.
Contact a Rideshare Sexual Assault Attorney
Not only should you pursue criminal action against the person who assaulted you, you should also discuss your legal rights with an attorney. An attorney who is experienced handling rideshare sexual assault claims can help ensure that you and your legal rights are protected. Furthermore, you may be eligible to pursue compensation from the person who assaulted you.