Simple act to save Aussie women from domestic violence


Anyone who chooses to use a simple Uber feature next week will be able to offer a free ride to a woman fleeing domestic violence thanks to a new initiative.

Uber has partnered with domestic violence organization WESNET to launch its Share a ride, gift a ride safety campaign to raise awareness of violence against women in Australia.

Users simply choose to share their ride with a trusted contact, an option that appears on screen after an Uber ride begins, and the company will then provide a female victim of domestic violence with a free ride voucher whenever option is selected. from November 25 to December 10.

“We know a lot of people use Uber every day, and the vast majority of people don’t want violence against women,” said WESNET chief executive Karen Bentley.

“But very often people don’t feel like they can make a difference, but here’s a really tangible and practical way you can.”

Uber has partnered with WESNET, the leading body that represents over 300 domestic violence services in Australia, since 2019, and offers an average of five free rides to vulnerable women every day.

Ms Bentley says the Covid-19 pandemic has caused logistical problems for shelters trying to help women fleeing violence, describing Uber vouchers as a “blessing”.

On average, a woman is killed every nine days by her current or former partner in Australia.
Camera iconOn average, a woman is killed every nine days by her current or former partner in Australia. Credit: News Regional media

“When we came into the pandemic and everyone was locked down, your average domestic and family violence department, which had staff in an office and maybe had staff vehicles … all of a sudden Suddenly, they are no longer there,” she said.

“How are we going to help [a woman] get from the station as she is moved 250km from her home to get away from her attacker?

“Who’s picking up mom and her three kids and bringing them to the women’s shelter.”

Camera iconAny Uber user who shares their travel status with a friend will provide a free ride to a woman in need. NCA NewsWire/Jenny Evans Credit: News Corp Australia

Not only has the pandemic caused logistical problems, but it has also caused an “increase” in the number of incidents of domestic violence.

“Women who had never experienced violence before suddenly began to experience it for the first time, and many women who had experienced it made it worse,” Ms Bentley said.

It is also hoped that the campaign will raise awareness of the safety features found on the Uber app.

To share your location while riding, simply swipe up on the screen after requesting a ride, click the “share your status” option, and select up to five people from your contact list with which to share your status.

These people will receive a text with a link containing your trip details, opening displays your driver’s first name and vehicle information, as well as your location on the map in real time.

Domestic Violence Helplines

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