SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of the UN's 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, Uber (NYSE:UBER) and Canary, an organization offering access to emergency funds in times of financial need, with support from FreeFrom, a national organization working to create pathways to financial security and long-term safety for survivors of gender-based violence, announced today the creation of a new fund to assist drivers and delivery people who have been affected by domestic or intimate partner violence*.
According to experts, 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. Additionally, the pandemic has created even more barriers for survivors, with many experiencing increased risk and few safe options to access resources.
"Domestic violence is a devastatingly common issue that touches people across geographic, cultural and economic boundaries and experts tell us the pandemic has only made it worse," said Tony West, executive vice president and chief legal officer of Uber. "We want to help ensure that drivers and delivery people on the Uber platform who are impacted by domestic violence can easily access resources that will help them on their path to safety."
The Path to Safety Grant Circle is a cash grant program operated by Canary, and funded by Uber. Drivers or delivery people who are actively earning on the Uber platform and have experienced domestic violence that has led to financial hardship can request funds to and start building the financial security they need to get and stay safe. Requests can be made by going to pathtosafety.grantcircles.org.
"Cash grants are a powerful tool to help individuals cover costs for what they need most—frequently essentials like food or shelter—in moments of crisis. This need is heightened for survivors of domestic violence, most of whom also experience economic abuse," says Canary CEO and co-founder, Rachel Schneider. "Canary is pleased to partner with Uber and FreeFrom to help survivors access funds with dignity. This fund will help us all learn more about how companies can meaningfully support employees experiencing crises."
"Every company operating in the U.S. engages survivors, whether they're aware of it or not. It's time for the private sector to step up and start being part of the solution to ending domestic violence," said Amy Durrence, Director of Systems Change Initiatives at FreeFrom. "We were so excited to support on the Path to Safety Fund because we know that survivors identify cash to spend as they see fit as their #1 most urgent need to get and stay safe during the pandemic. We hope that more companies will follow suit and begin offering this type of essential support for their staff, independent contractors, and others they engage."
Individuals can utilize the funds for any specific needs they have but resources are typically used 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 kept anonymous. Uber will not know that an individual has applied for a grant.
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. As a flexible earning opportunity, Uber has seen an increase in the number of women who earn on the Uber app of nearly 80% since the beginning of 2021 and more than 40% of Uber Eats delivery drivers in the US are women.
About Uber + Safety
Uber has been working with gender-based violence prevention groups through its Driving Change initiative which aims to raise awareness of and prevent gender-based violence. During the pandemic, the company 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. Uber has been a pioneer in safety technology innovation and transparency issuing a first-of-its-kind Safety Report in December 2019 to promote improved safety in ridesharing and beyond.
Canary is helping the 21st century social net evolve to reflect the future of work. We exist to ensure that individuals can access emergency support with dignity in times of financial need, giving them the peace of mind and confidence to recover quickly. Find out more at www.workwithcanary.com.
FreeFrom is an organization focused on the economic impact of gender-based violence. The FreeFrom team is made up of queer, trans, im/migrant, and BIPOC survivors, building towards a world in which all survivors are able to build the wealth and financial security necessary to support their individual, intergenerational, and community healing and thriving. Learn more about FreeFrom and their work on their website here.
24/7 access to support and resources are available for individuals that are affected by domestic violence through the National Domestic Violence Hotline at https://www.thehotline.org/
*"Domestic or intimate partner violence," for purposes of this fund, means any physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and/or economic abuse or control by a spouse, partner/significant other, co-parent, family member (related by blood or marriage), or housemate.
**Economic abuse happens when a person controls a survivor's access to their own economic resources (for example: cash, credit, property, their job).
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