As domestic violence cases surge under stay-at-home orders across the country, Uber is making it easier to safely get help. The ride sharing company announced on Thursday that it will offer 50,000 free rides to people in 35 cities and 16 countries to find shelter and other life saving services during the coronavirus pandemic. It will also donate 45,000 free meals to domestic abuse victims. “Uber is committed to women’s safety both on our app and in the communities that we serve,” the company wrote. “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.” Speaking with USA Today, experts acknowledge the need for domestic abuse survivors to safely find transportation to support services. “A lack of transportation is a huge barrier for survivors of domestic violence every day of the week. And that’s really exacerbated by COVID-19,” said Allison Randall, vice president for policy and emerging issues at the National Network to End Domestic Violence. “If you’re stuck at home with an abuser, that person might be controlling access to the car, and you literally have no way to get safe,” Randall explained. The tech firm will be expanding its current partnerships with health and support organizations like the Safe Center LI in New York, Femmes Avec in Paris, WESNET in Australia, Nissa Institute for Women’s Development in Johannesburg, YWCA in Canada and “so many more,” per the press release. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline. *By Alexandra Kelley via The Hill*

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