“In this time of crisis, we must support those fighting the silent pandemic of domestic abuse happening behind closed doors.” says Vedanshi Vala, Co-Founder and Executive Director of BOLT Safety Society, a youth-run, federallyregistered not-for-profit. “Our new initiative, Safe Hubs, is about taking immediate action to support victims and survivors.”

Domestic violence reports have surged astronomically as more people are home, isolated, in alignment with COVID-19 health guidelines. The Safe Hubs project collaborates with local businesses to create a network of safe locations, and is supported with a grant from TakingITGlobal, the Government of Canada, and Canada Service Corps.

“Safe Hubs is the start of a community-wide movement to create awareness around the somewhat taboo subject of abuse, rape, and domestic violence. Everyone should be comfortable talking about these issues, and Safe Hubs is paving the way.” says Ravi Nichols, Co-Founder, Financial and Human Resource Manager at BOLT Safety.

Upon the launch of the pilot project on August 31st, Safe Hubs resources will be available for free to members who join BOLT Safety’s mobile platform (boltsafety.org/join). Members will be able to find safe locations on a map, get information on support resources, watch self-defense tutorials from community experts, and connect with their own network of ‘Safe Buddies’.

BOLT Safety is continuously working on expanding their network of safe spaces, and currently has confirmed partnerships with the Sabzi Mandi franchise and Apple Farm Market. Interested businesses and community leaders are encouraged to contact BOLT Safety to support the initiative (boltsafety.org).

“Safety is our common right, responsibility, and duty. Let’s create safer homes and communities, together.” says Vala.