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District Attorney Boudin Partners with Lyft to Provide Rides to Victims of Domestic Violence During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

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Rachel Marshall / (415) 416-4468 / Rachel.Marshall@sfgov.org

As part of the City’s COVID-19 response, District Attorney Chesa Boudin is partnering with Lyft to provide free ride credits to safe housing for victims of domestic violence. 

San Francisco, CA — Today, 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. This announcement comes at the start of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which is dedicated to raising awareness about the various resources and services available to support crime victims.  The partnership is part of a larger effort by DA Boudin’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 DA Boudin.  “This initiative with Lyft will provide a free way for survivors to discreetly get to a place of safety.”

The program will provide 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.”

Victims’ rights advocates applauded the announcement. “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 timing of this initiative is critical, as the stay-at-home orders in light of COVID-19 have severely reduced many transportation services.  The SFMTA currently operates limited public transportation routes and BART has restricted its hours of operation.  

This partnership aims to ensure that lack of access to transportation does not prevent victims from seeking help.  “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, please visit the Office for Victims of Crime website at www.ovc.gov/ncvrw.

If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911.  If you or someone you know is a survivor of domestic violence and need additional assistance, please contact:

  • 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.