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NPR Speaks with Rachel Abrams About Lyft Sexual Assault Report

Last Updated November 9, 2021

NPR Speaks with Rachel Abrams About Lyft Sexual Assault Report

NRP’s Audie Cornish talks with Levin Simes Abrams partner Rachel Abrams about Lyft releasing their first safety report. Lyft reported 4,158 complaints from five of twenty two categories for which data was released, for the years 2017-2019.

Lyft Sexual Assault Report

Lyft categorized sexual assaults reported to the company for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019.  Lyft’s report released data about 5 of the 21 categories of sexual misconduct and sexual assault, and did not reveal data on the other 16 categories.

Lyft did not release data for 2020, 2021 or years prior to 2017. Uber had previously released data for 2017 and 2018 and has not updated or released any updates.

Lyft Sexual Misconduct

The Lyft report notes 11 categories of sexual misconduct. All reported claims of sexual misconduct were placed into one of 11 categories. The Lyft safety report revealed figures for 0 of 11 categories. There is no indication as to whether they intend to release any data in the future.

Sexual Misconduct as defined in Lyft’s safety report:

Non-physical conduct (verbal or staring) of a sexual nature that is without consent or has the effect of threatening or intimidating a user against whom such conduct is directed. This includes explicit or nonexplicit verbal comments (or non-verbal, non-physical) such as flirting, personal comments on appearance and inquiries on relationship status. Catcalling (shouting, yelling, whistling) is also defined as sexual misconduct.

Lyft Sexual Assault

The Lyft safety report categorizes reported sexual assault into 10 categories.  The Lyft safety reports that Lyft received over 4,000 sexual assault reports in 5 of the 10 categories.  Lyft did not reveal the number of reported sexual assaults in the other 5 categories, similar to not reporting any sexual misconduct incidents.

Sexual Assault as defined in Lyft’s safety report:

Physical or attempted physical conduct that is reported to be sexual in nature and without the consent of the user. Note:

1. Sexual body parts are defined as the mouth, female breasts, buttocks or genitalia. The phrase “between the legs” is considered to reference a sexual body part. All other body parts are characterized as nonsexual.
2. When only a non-sexual body part is involved, either of the following provides context for the “sexual nature” of the contact/attempted contact:
• Sexual misconduct of any type
• Reporter’s explicit perception that the contact was either flirtatious, romantic or sexual

An example of an incident Lyft would not disclose is a driver kidnapping a passenger, masturbating, threatening them and grabbing their thigh.

Lyft Reported Rate on Incident

Lyft calculated a rate of incident for each of the 5 of 21 categories disclosed in their report, using combined 2017-2019 data. Lyft’s report does not appear to show any drop in the rate of sexual misconduct and sexual assault in 2019 vs 2018, so they instead compare 2019 to 2017.

Lyft treated the date of reporting as the date of incident, meaning a sexual assault in 2019 reported in 2020 is not included in the report. Lyft released a figure that divides the number of reports in 5 of the 21 categories that occurred during a calendar year, regardless of the date of the incident, against the number of rides that year.

It is unclear what this is supposed to show, given Lyft is a growing company and many incidents reported likely occurred in prior years, when the number of rides was smaller, and given most categories were ignored and not disclosed in the report. Lyft also calculated the individual rate of occurrence for each of the categories individually, instead of an aggerate rate of misconduct or assault.

Lyft Sexual Assault Lawyers

Levin Simes Abrams represents hundreds of rideshare survivors of sexual assault and harassment. If you or a loved one was harassed or assaulted during an Uber or Lyft ride and want a private discussion with an attorney, please call or text our rideshare lawyers at 415-426-3000, or email [email protected] We can set up a private time to talk and discuss the case.