While most can stay-at-home safely, some can’t. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, stay-at-home orders have created unintended challenges for some of the most vulnerable among us, including victims of sexual and domestic violence or gender based violence. Many are facing increased risk, and are left with few safe options to seek help, access resources, or plan an expert.

Experts have reported a surge in domestic violence globally in the last few weeks, including here in Canada. As demand increases, many shelters and service providers are seeking urgent assistance.

That’s why Uber is partnering with organizations supporting victims of sexual and domestic violence or gender based violence to provide 50,000 free rides and additional support to shelters and safe spaces in more than 35 cities across 17 countries. In Canada, we are partnering with YWCA Canada, Le Chaînon, and Ending Violence Association in BC, providing free rides, meals, and last mile deliveries to support their important work. We’re extremely grateful for their tireless efforts to support our communities during this especially difficult time.

Uber is committed to women’s safety both on our app and in the communities that we serve. Over the past several years, we’ve partnered with leading gender-based violence organizations globally on awareness, education and prevention of sexual assault and domestic violence. We’ve also taken important steps such as publishing the industry’s first-ever safety report to drive accountability and improve safety for Uber and the entire industry. This initiative is part of Uber’s pledge to provide 10 million free rides, meals and food deliveries to those who need them most during this unprecedented time.

“We’ve asked Canadians to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But not every home is a safe home. To women and children suffering violence and trauma in abusive homes: there are hundreds of organizations across the country to support you. Uber is partnering with Canadian organizations to offer rides to safety plus additional supports. This is another layer of support and I hope it is another reminder that you are not alone. I welcome Uber’s leadership and the partnership with the YWCA, Le Chainon, and EVA BC We will get through these difficult times by looking out for one another and supporting those on the frontlines, including gender-based violence support workers. This initiative is an example of just that.”
– Hon. Maryam Monsef, MP, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

“The rise of domestic violence during this crisis is not okay. Through this donation, we’ll be able to provide critical transportation support so women and gender diverse people can leave dangerous situations quickly. Our local YWCAs have been stepping up for their communities but they need urgent support. Uber’s in-kind donation comes at a critical time and will allow our clients and workers to move from point A to point B safely. This will help to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone safe.”
– Maya Roy, CEO, YWCA Canada

“At Le Chaînon, we take care of the most vulnerable and marginalized women in society. When they knock on our door, we welcome them without judgment and we make sure to offer them everything they need to rebuild themselves. A roof, a good meal, a warm space where they can finally feel safe. In this troubled pandemic period where the whole society is shaken, we would like to thank Uber Eats for their support. We are completely overwhelmed by this beautiful gesture and filled with gratitude. This mouvement of citizen solidarity is very important to us. In addition to warming the hearts, it will allow our kitchen workers, our employees and our hard-working volunteers to have a break. A big thank-you!”
– Sylvie Bourbonnière, Executive Director, La Fondation Le Chaînon

“EVA BC is proud to partner with Uber since they set an excellent example of how corporations can use their assets for great good. Uber’s generous offer today to provide our organization with 1,000 free deliveries in Metro Vancouver will help ensure that equipment our frontline workers need to do their jobs will get delivered to them without taxing our already swamped office. Because of this initiative, victims and survivors of gender-based violence will gain greater support during this challenging COVID-19 period and beyond.”
– Tracy Porteous, Executive Director, Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC)

Each of us can help others access resources and safe spaces. If you need help, or know someone who does, there are resources available through our partners at YWCA Canada, Le Chaînon, and EVA BC.