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Uber offers free rides to domestic violence victims during COVID-19

Coronavirus

NEW ORLEANS, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Uber is taking steps to make sure domestic violence victims have access to life-saving resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company announced Thursday that it’s working with the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence to donate 1,000 free rides to the organization.

As the impact of the pandemic continues to grow, stay-at-home orders have created unintended challenges for some of the most vulnerable among us, including victims of domestic violence. Many women and children are facing increased risk and are left with few safe options to access resources, seek help, or plan an exit. With experts reporting a surge in domestic violence globally in the last few weeks, and as demand increases, many shelters and service providers are seeking urgent assistance.

Head of Global Women’s Safety at Uber Tracey Breeden said, “As a police detective, I saw the realities of domestic violence firsthand, and that home is not always a safe space for everyone. Now, with stay-at-home orders in place across the world, many face an increased risk of domestic violence with few safe options to access resources and help. That’s why Uber is partnering with the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence – and domestic violence organizations in more than 30 cities across 16 countries – to provide free rides to shelters and other safe spaces. We want to do our small part to help survivors access life-saving services and find a safe place to shelter.”

Louisiana has the second highest rate of women murdered by men in the country, according to the Violence Policy Center’s 2018 report, When Men Murder Women.

Executive Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence Mariah Stidham Wineski said, “Our state faces many unique challenges in our work to end domestic violence and keep survivors safe. We remain committed to our vision of safety for all Louisianans, especially during these trying times. Domestic violence programs across Louisiana remain open and available to assist survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Advocates at these programs are working around the clock to provide support, shelter, advocacy, and resources for survivors. We are grateful to Uber for providing this critical support to ensure advocates can meet survivors’ needs.”

Anyone experiencing domestic violence and in need of support or assistance is encouraged to contact Louisiana’s statewide domestic violence hotline at (888) 411-1333. This call is free, confidential, and available 24/7. It routes the caller to their local domestic violence program who can provide them with crisis intervention, safety planning, and support services.

Over the past several years, Uber has partnered with leading gender-based violence organizations globally on awareness, education and prevention of sexual assault and domestic violence.

The donation to the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence is part of a larger pledge from Uber to provide 10 million free rides and food deliveries to those who need it the most during this unprecedented time.

Learn more about coronavirus response efforts across Uber here.

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Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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