Between 2017 and 2018, nearly 6,000 American Uber passengers filed complaints saying that their drivers or another passenger sexually assaulted them. And that’s just the official reports.
“Each of those incidents represents an individual who has undergone a horrific trauma,” Uber chief legal officer Tony West told NBC News. “But I’m not surprised by those numbers. And I’m not surprised because sexual violence is just much more pervasive in society than I think most people realize.”
Uber shared the sexual assault numbers in a new year-end safety report that the company published on Thursday along with a press release that described how it paired with organizations like the National Sexual Violence Resource Center to address the issue.
Uber has drawn unwanted attention in recent years for reports about its drivers sexually assaulting passengers.
The press release points out that the reports only represent a tiny fraction of all Uber trips, and also, uncomfortably, attempts to downplay the problem by presenting statistics on how many people die in car crashes, get murdered, and were sexually assaulted at large.
“We do four million rides a day. That’s 45 trips per second,” West told NBC. “And when you’re operating at that kind of scale, thankfully, 99.9 percent of those rides end with absolutely no safety incident whatsoever.”
READ MORE: Uber reveals extent of sexual assault problem: thousands of abuse reports a year [NBC News]