Taylor & Ring’s Natalie Weatherford Dives Deep into the Epidemic of Sexual Assault Against Female Truckers

Taylor & Ring’s Natalie Weatherford Dives Deep into the Epidemic of Sexual Assault Against Female Truckers When women train to become truck drivers, an enormous percentage experience sexual assault by their fellow truck drivers and even the instructors who train them. This same danger doesn’t exist for their male counterparts, and it turns out that very few truck companies are doing much to combat this heinous problem, seemingly penalizing victims rather than their assailants.

With the trucker workforce dwindling, having more women working as drivers would be beneficial to the industry, but no woman wants to work a job where they know they are more than likely to be assaulted or raped by their coworkers. Some trucking companies have approved certain tools or equipment to stop or record the instances of assault when they happen, but they are not applying any deterrents or preventative measures to stop these assaults before they even happen. One of our very own attorneys recently represented two women truckers who experienced assaults on the job. Legal action seems to be the only punishment that might change the way the truck industry is structured and led.

“In Real Life: Attacked Behind the Wheel”

An investigation by Public Integrity and Newsy reveals the troubling state for women truck drivers. Newsy recently released a short film called “In Real Life: Attacked Behind the Wheel”, in which current and former women truckers reveal their dark reality in stark interviews. Taylor & Ring attorney Natalie Weatherford offers her professional opinions throughout this film, as she had been representing two female drivers who had been sexually assaulted and raped while working for the Iowa-based trucking company CRST.

Throughout the film, the audience meets several women who wholeheartedly voice their reports of assault from coworkers during their career. They’ve had to learn how to defend themselves, even going to the lengths of buying pointed brass knuckles and tasers, which are sold at the yearly Trucker Jamboree – a gathering of truckers across North America that features stalls and fireworks, almost like a fair.

The audience also hears the horrific stories of former women truck drivers, a few of them refusing to show their faces to the camera or reveal their identities. All of these women speak on being beaten, assaulted, and/or raped by their coworkers, and quite often, the trainer who is meant to be tutoring them. One woman details how she truly feared for her life. In many cases, when the assaulted truckers reported their attacks to human resources, they were ignored, or their stories weren’t believed. The women drivers felt like they were being punished instead of their attackers. The company, in one instance, did not even fire the attacker; and the police never followed up on the attack after the woman had reported it to them later.

“In Real Life: Attacked Behind the Wheel” is a shocking watch if you are unaware of how deep and how rampant sexual assault is against women truck drivers, and shines a light on just how obvious it is that something big needs to be done to stop this trend.

The findings of the report

While the film provides an eye-opening look into the experiences of women truckers, the report published from the investigation gives us the stark statistics of what sexual assault looks like in the trucking community, as well as details into several alleged attacks and their accompanying lawsuits.

While truck companies seek to hire more female drivers, they also have done little to ensure their safety. CRST seems to be the major culprit in this investigation (though C.R. England and Werner Enterprises are also mentioned in the report), with at least seven women claiming to have been raped by their trainer or co-driver between the years 2005 and 2019. What actions did CRST take? Per the report, “Three of [the seven women] said the company fired them or barred them from driving after they reported the assaults, according to court records. Meanwhile, at least four of the men accused of rape continued to work during the company’s internal investigation, the women claim.”

And it’s not just the truck companies falling short, as only one of the accused rapists has been arrested, even after at least four women filed reports with the police.

It is obvious that the truck companies do not care very much about the safety of their employees, and as one former human resources employee states, “Keeping the truck running was absolutely the most important thing.”

Taylor & Ring believes sexual assault victims

While the truck companies turn a blind eye to the suffering of their own employees, focusing only on the bottom line, we at Taylor & Ring in Los Angeles always listen to victims’ stories. We will not only work to obtain justice for you, but do everything we can to ensure that your attacker will not hurt anyone like he hurt you ever again. We understand that after a sexual assault, you can feel isolated, sick, and scared. We want to give you your life back and fight for you, just as our attorney Natalie Weatherford fought for the women at CRST.

If you have been sexually assaulted at work, or anywhere else, we are here for you. We will listen to you attentively, and we will handle your case with dignity and care, and meet with you in a safe and reciprocating environment. To speak with an attorney from Taylor & Ring, please call us or fill out our contact form. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Let us fight for you just as we have fought for so many other victims in Los Angeles and all throughout Southern California.