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Professor Hannah Brenner Comments on Uber Silencing Women After Sexual Assaults

California Western Professor Hannah Brenner

At least nine women are in the process of suing Uber for fraud, misleading advertising about its level of safety, assault, battery, and rape reports The Huffington Post. The women are demanding that the ride-sharing company truly reckon with what they say is a widespread sexual assault issue.

One of the victims filed the case in 2017, and this was later updated in March when six other women joined the suit.

Prof. Hannah Brenner, who researches the intersection of law and gender, focusing specifically on sexual assault, institutions, and disparate power dynamics told HuffPost, “Having public disclosure in a courtroom about what happened, that’s part of the public record. There’s a real power in that.”

That these women have banded together is particularly powerful continued Prof Brenner. “There’s a tendency for us to dismiss sexual violence as a one-off. Collectively, these women are a force more difficult to ignore.”

The women want Uber to fix what they see as its “flawed” background check system, the lawsuit says. Because the system is designed to approve drivers quickly, Uber skips steps that would screen out sex offenders, according to the suit. Though Uber has recently announced changes to its system, these women say they’re insufficient.

The women say the only way they can force Uber to improve its standards is if they bring their case into a public courtroom ― and this highlights a second, possibly even more significant issue with Uber: When users download the app, they unwittingly click away their right to file a lawsuit against the company.

Read the full story by Emily Peck here: