A Halifax woman is offering free rides to women wary of cabs after a taxi driver was acquitted of sexual assault this week, and she's encouraging others to do the same with the hashtag #HaliLadyCab.
Alana Canales said she was shocked when she heard that a Halifax taxi driver had been acquitted of sexually assaulting an intoxicated passenger found partly naked and unconscious in the back of his cab.
"We already know that justice takes a long time, and in this case it doesn't seem to have been served," she said. "So I thought how do we take the lemons and make lemonade."
She decided the best thing she could do is make it clear that she would give a drive to anybody she knows who no longer felt safe to take a cab. She didn't intend to offer rides to strangers, but rather to encourage others to make it clear that they'll act as a taxi for their friends when needed, too.
"If you know somebody who has loudly offered that they are willing to do this, you're more likely to ask them," Canales said.
Canales said the response has been amazing, including many direct messages from Twitter users telling her personal stories.
"Some of them are really, really scary, so it kind of brought it home why this is so needed, and why sexual assault needs to be treated very seriously," she said.
Canales said it's still up to politicians, the justice system, support services and protesters to have an impact on the issue.
"The community as a whole has so many different angles that they can come at this problem by, and I'm just doing my part the way that I can," she said.