The UN’s 16 Days of Activism is a powerful call to action each year for individuals, companies and organizations all around the world to work together toward the goal of ending gender-based violence. It’s also an important reminder that this devastating issue is a universal one which traverses geographic, cultural and economic boundaries.
That’s why we are honored to partner with Canary, with support from FreeFrom, to launch the Path to Safety Grant Circle, a fund to assist drivers and delivery people in the U.S. who have been affected by domestic or intimate partner violence.
At least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 transgender people experience physical and/or sexual violence and harassment by a current or former intimate partner in their lifetime. And sadly, the pandemic has created even more barriers for survivors, with many experiencing increased risk and few safe options to access resources.
The Path to Safety Grant Circle is a cash grant program operated by Canary and funded by Uber. Drivers or delivery people who are active on the Uber platform and are affected by domestic violence can request funds and secure the resources they need to get and stay safe.
According to experts, financial insecurity is cited as the number one obstacle to safety for survivors of domestic violence with 99% of survivors subjected to economic abuse as part of their experience. So we aimed to create a fund that drivers and delivery people can use to address short-term needs like housing, food, utilities, emergency travel, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and child care costs. The application and identity of those seeking funds will be protected; Uber will not know the identities of individuals applying for grants.
Through our Driving Change program, we’ve worked with experts who have helped guide Uber’s safety journey. They’ve influenced changes we’ve made to our policies and processes that have pushed us to become a more survivor-centric company. We’ve also relied on their experience working with survivors everyday to understand where our assistance can be most impactful in the communities where we operate.
For example, during the pandemic, Uber partnered with domestic violence organizations and local governments in 35 cities across 16 countries to provide 50,000 free rides to shelters and safe spaces and more than 45,000 free meals to survivors of domestic violence. The Path to Safety Fund further builds on these commitments.
Safety is a core value at Uber, and that includes the amazing drivers and delivery people who earn on Uber’s platform everyday. For those living in the shadows of domestic violence, we want to help ensure they can access critical resources that can help put them on a path to safety.