Uber and NSVRC release new taxonomy to tackle sexual violence

In Uber’s new policy blog, “Counting it is the first step towards ending it,” Uber’s Chief Legal Officer Tony West and Kristen Houser, Chief Public Affairs Officer at RALIANCE and our partner organization the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, unveil a new taxonomy developed in partnership with the Urban Institute to help categorize incidents of sexual misconduct and sexual assault reported on the Uber platform.

Around the world, from corporate boardrooms to government offices, data drives decision-making.

So when it comes to sexual harassment, misconduct and assault, which is significantly underreported and thus lacks widely available data – particularly for acts that may not be considered criminal such as inappropriate comments – having very clear data is critical to pursuing sustainable solutions that will help end sexual violence in one generation. The new taxonomy categorizes reports of sexually violent experiences based on very specific, easy to understand language based on human behavior. Using and categorizing this more precise language will ultimately increase the availability of data and drive appropriate courses of prevention activity, ultimately informing how best to support users of the Uber platform.

As Tony and Kristen write:

These challenges create a landscape in which the limited information that is reported out provides only an incomplete and fragmented understanding of the true scope and scale of sexual violence. The value of a carefully-developed taxonomy for reported incidents of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual assault is that it can increase consistency and help us to identify trends, thereby informing the development of more effective response and prevention efforts.

This new taxonomy is a step towards Uber’s goal of creating transparency reports for sexual violence that are shareable and useful to support and advance similar efforts in other businesses and industries. RALIANCE applauds this effort and we see this as the latest step in our mission to end sexual violence in one generation.