"Ride-hailing company Lyft and the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, announced a new pilot program Tuesday aimed at providing victims of sexual violence with resources to flee from their abusers.
The program, which will roll out in select American cities, will offer 1,000 free rides to individuals seeking crisis support who contact the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline. Lyft declined to release the cities publicly to protect users.
“When we started thinking about the most vulnerable, we quickly understood that victims of intimate partner violence could be one of these areas where we could do more,” Heather Foster, head of policy engagement and strategic partnerships at Lyft, said.
Police departments across the country say they’ve seen a staggering increase in domestic violence calls since the coronavirus pandemic swept the United States. In New York, calls to the state’s domestic violence hotline saw a 32 percent jump since this time last year and a 53 percent increase in calls between February and April alone."
I think this is fantastic! Knowing someone personally who has had issues with a partner in her past and being stuck many times because she didn't drive, Lyft is doing a lot for women like my friend out in the world. So many women get trapped in abusive relationships because they don't have anywhere else to go or enough income to make it on their own. Glad to see places out there like this offering more help.
For far too many people, this crisis has created new threats or intensified existing ones. This has been the situation for many survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence, who are being forced into close quarters with abusers as a result of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders. For survivors fleeing unsafe situations, transportation and expert support are critical resources.
Lyft has partnered with the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, to provide victims of sexual violence with resources to flee from their abusers with their new pilot program.
The program will roll out in select American cities; however, Lyft declined to release the cities publicly to protect potential users. In eligible cities, Lyft is offering 1,000 free rides to individuals who seek crisis support by contacting the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline.
According to Heather Foster, head of policy engagement and strategic partnerships at Lyft, “When we started thinking about the most vulnerable, we quickly understood that victims of intimate partner violence could be one of those areas where we could do more.” Depending on response and demand, the company could expand the pilot program in the future to offer rides to those who need them.
Everyone deserves a safe, respectful ride home.
That's why we've partnered with Lyft to promote sexual violence prevention and response education and training for riders, drivers, and customer support specialists in the Lyft community.