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Enchanted by an ongoing reality show called politics, many people have been distracted from seeing the corruption brewing within their own communities. Its simple arithmetic! The progress of any society can be determined by its sexual conduct in regards to how the citizenship treats its mothers, its women.
Unfortunately, evidence of our nation’s dishonor for its women is seen by the growing number of rapes by cab drivers. My interest in the subject of “rape cases in transit” was sparked by an article published by the UK’s Independent, entitled, Uber Drivers Accused of 32 Rapes and Sexual Attacks on London Passengers. The author, Gabriel Samuels, claims that ‘new statistics reveal one assault every 11 days last year by drivers on the popular car-hire app.’
Initially, I thought about doing a news article exclusively about the report made against Uber, but also realized the media’s attempt to single out a car service could be more about the needs and profits of opposing car service companies and not those of justice. Instead, I started research on the entire taxi industry, in hopes of finding what is the safest company among what was once thought to be one of the most secured means of travel.
Sadly, incidents of cab driver rapes are increasing nationwide! Back in 2016, the New York Post reported that NYC Police Commissioner Bill Bratton sent a warning out to women living in the city, suggesting that they use a buddy system instead of taking a taxi alone, due to the increase in cab driver rapes. The article goes on to provide the following statistics:
“The number of reported rape cases climbed 6 percent last year, with stranger rapes rising 49 percent, from 110 in 2014 to 164 in 2015, officials have said. Of those stranger rapes, about 9 to 10 percent of them were attacks by cab drivers, a significant increase from years past, according to police.”
While reports of cab driver rapes have increased drastically in New York City, it would be foolish to believe that such horrendous acts are limited to the Big Apple. In Canada 2015, Bassam Al-Rawi, a taxi driver was pulled over by police. Inside his cab was a 26-year-old woman, who was partially nude and unconscious. Al-Rawi’s pants were down with the women’s DNA found on his mouth. On March 3rd 2017, however, Judge Gregory Lenehan not only acquitted Al-Rawi, but stated:
“The Crown failed to produce any evidence of lack of consent at any time.”
Rape in transit is a rising global epidemic! In Australia, a Sikh cab driver is reported to have blamed his “Indian upbringing” as his reason for raping an 18-year old. In 2016 a 12-year old was abducted in Kolkata by a cab driver only to be gang raped and killed!
Rape in transit is a dark reality that is increasing all over the world. Myself, and other Ninzuwu priests/priestesses, are diligently working behind the scenes to find effective solutions to these matters. In the meantime, we have made a list of some useful suggests that may help one stay clear of these sickened sexual predators.
- Make it a priority to call for a car service instead of flagging down a random taxi. This suggestion makes all the difference in the world. Calling a car service creates a record, a documented history, between the dispatcher, the driver, and the passenger. In response to one news report about its car service, Uber claims a ratio of one incidence of sexual assault in every 3.3 million trips or a ratio of 0.0000009 percent of rides. Uber can make such claims, despite opposing reports , as its business works primarily as a “call-in car service,” rather than catching a cab randomly in the street. Sexual predators posing as cab drivers are less likely to commit an act of crime when a record of the transaction has been recorded by someone other than themselves.
- The Buddy System. Although New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton took a lot of criticism for making this suggestion, it is one way of prioritizing a woman’s safe travel by taxi. However, I think the suggestion could be improved slightly. Police Commissioner Bratton based his statements on the crime statistics available to him. In many cases, a large percentage of sexual attacks made on women by cab drivers included women who were leaving a nightclub intoxicated. The police commissioner then suggested that instead of taking a cab home alone, a woman would be safer catching a cab with her friends. Point understood. In terms of safety, I think this is a good idea, but if a woman is out late partying with her friends, make plans to stay over at a friends house who will be riding in the cab with you. This would mean that instead of the cab driver making two to three stops, they would make one stop and then the ladies could leave the “designated friend’s” house in the morning and no women is left alone with the cab driver in travel.
- Call a friend during the cab ride. Woman often use a cellphone call to a friend as a means of distraction, perhaps in efforts to avoid speaking with males in their vicinity who have romantic interests. In the same manner, if you are forced to ride in a cab by yourself, and you cannot call a taxi by phone, then make sure you are on the phone with a friend during your taxi ride. Make sure you report to your friend, very loudly, any and all details about the cab you are taking. Usually a driver’s information is attached to the backseat of the taxi. Take a photo of it with your cellphone. Make sure that you speak loud enough for the cab driver to hear you.
- Always remember that rape follows racism. This is a little bonus material that I thought would be a useful way to conclude this article. I will do a full report on the topic shortly. Whether it is entertainment, politics, religion, or what have you, as a woman, always remember that rape follows racism. Most crimes are caused by distorted sexual views even if they are non-sexual in nature. Rape always follows racism. You can go to any country and look at its level of racism and it will always run concurrent to its level of rape. We call it human psychology. Everyone thought it was funny that black celebrities and politicians couldn’t catch a taxi in many major cities across the United States. Little did they know that such behavior facilitates the seed of a rapist. As a woman, always keep this in mind when traveling abroad.
In summary, a woman’s safety from a potential rapist posing as a cab driver is not about a particular company in itself, but is everything about the climate of the country where such crimes have occurred. Stricter laws need to be put in place as well as priorities. A million women will get together and march on the lawns of Washington D.C. with a feeling of renewed courage and confidence. But never in the history of the world, have a million women gotten together to march on the lawns of Washington D.C. to protest against rape, simply because rape is rape and one of the greatest crimes against women? Now that’s something to think about. However, this struggle against rape in our global society must be fought by every human breath, men and women alike. Take your stand against rape today!
If you are a man, make it your business to call out the ill-motivators of locker room talk. Women use your Beyonce gossip time to bring awareness to the subject of rape. It is by means of our work together that we’ll create an outcry that will serve as a guardian angel for the protection of will the mothers and daughters of our global society.