LONG ISLAND, NY — Uber last week announced its partnership with The Safe Center Long Island to provide additional support through transportation for the organization during the new coronavirus, according to a news release.

Uber donated $35,000 in free rides for those seeking domestic violence services. The funds will be directed to The Safe Center Long Island, which connects services for those who have experienced domestic violence.

“The Safe Center LI is grateful to Uber for their generous support during this crisis,” Cynthia Scott, executive director of Long Island Safe Center, stated via news release. “Disasters like this increase the incidence of interpersonal violence and make getting help more difficult for those being abused. This support will help us provide immediate access to safety and services for victims during this unprecedented time.”

The coronavirus has caused a “disturbing rise” in domestic violence, said New York State Senator Anna Kaplan.

“I’m grateful for Uber’s generous support of the Safe Center, providing rides for anyone seeking to access services and support, because it will ensure that no one in Nassau County face an additional barrier to getting the help they need,” Kaplan said. “I urge anyone in Nassau County in an unsafe situation to call the Safe Center at 516-542-0404 to get help right away.”

The service will provide Long Islanders in need critical access to safe transportation, said Hayley Prim, public affairs manager for Uber.

Residents seeking transportation and other services to flee a violent situation, which includes domestic violence and human trafficking, can contact The Safe Center LI which is available 24/7 directly through their hotline at 516-542-0404. Operators will then send an Uber to pick up the rider and bring them to a safe shelter or other services in Long Island. The system will work to pair the requester with the closest driver in the area, and the requester’s privacy will be protected by personnel at the Hotline.

The donation is part of a larger commitment by Uber to provide 50,000 free rides to shelters and safe spaces in more than 35 cities across 17 countries, according to the release. The company is partnering with domestic and sexual violence organizations, anti-human trafficking service providers, and local governments across the globe to help survivors access life-saving services and find a safe place to shelter.

*By Michael DeSantis via Patch*