SAN FRANCISCO─On Monday, April 20, District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced an initiative with Lyft to provide access to free and reliable ride credits for victims of domestic violence to travel to secure housing. The announcement comes at the start of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which is focused on raising awareness about the various resources and services available to support crime victims. The partnership is part of a larger effort by the District Attorney’s Office to expand available services for victims of domestic violence during the COVID-19 crisis.
“In these unprecedented times, when we are all sheltering in place, it is critical that victims of domestic violence are able to leave dangerous and abusive environments,” said Boudin. “This initiative with Lyft will provide a free way for survivors to discreetly get to a place of safety.”
According to a news release form the SFDA’s Office, the program will offer domestic violence community agencies with ride credits to use on Lyft’s platform. Those agencies will be able to use the credits to coordinate free rides for victims of domestic violence to be transported to emergency shelter providers or safe housing.
“We know that many have an acute need for transportation during this time and we thank District Attorney Boudin for his leadership in finding ways to help victims of domestic violence get to secure locations,” said Traci Lee, Senior Public Policy Manager, Lyft. “By working together with leaders like DA Boudin, we can continue to activate LyftUp and provide transportation access to those who need it.”
“It is so important to be able to provide shelter and transportation for survivors, particularly during these difficult times,” said Beverly Upton, Executive Director of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium. “We will continue to work to ensure that every survivor has a safe place to go if they are in danger.”
The stay-at-home orders in light of COVID-19 have severely decreased many transportation services. The SFMTA currently operates limited public transportation routes and BART has restricted its hours of operation.
“One of the biggest obstacles for survivors leaving abusive environments, especially during the pandemic, can be figuring out a path forward, and we are happy to be able to offer free transportation for survivors to get to places of safety,” said Gena Castro Rodriguez, the chief of the Victims’ Services Division at the DA’s Office.
Domestic violence shelters and hotlines are deemed essential businesses under the stay at home orders and continue to remain open and available.
For information about national efforts to promote the 2020 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, visit the Office for Victims of Crime website at www.ovc.gov/ncvrw.For those encountering an emergency, contact 911. Anyone who is a survivor or knows someone who is a victim of domestic violence and need additional assistance, should contact the following:
-National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
-W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Crisis Line: 415-864-4722
-La Casa de las Madres Crisis Lines: Adult Line 1-877-503-1850, Teen Line 1-877-923-0700
-Asian Women’s Shelter Crisis Line: 1-877-751-0880
-Saint Vincent de Paul Society – Riley Center Crisis Line: 415-255-0165
Additional resources for survivors of domestic violence can be found at https://sfgov.org/dosw/violence-against-women-prevention-and-intervention-grants-program-0.
Written By Casey Jacobs