RICHMOND SENTINEL- Richmond businesses encouraged to support Safe Hubs program

Richmond Sentinel

2022/09/20

There are 17 locations participating in the Safe Hubs program so far, but organizers want more businesses to become part of the network.

"The Safe Hubs program is calling upon Richmond businesses to help make the community safer.

Safe Hubs, launched in 2020, is a partnership between two youth-led non-profits, BOLT Safety Society and For the Menstruator. The program aims to create a network of safe spaces, in partnership with local businesses, where people can escape after a crisis or traumatic event such as being assaulted.

BOLT Safety Society was founded by then-high school students who made a presentation to Richmond’s community safety committee early this year aiming to partner with the city and eventually others across Canada. The organization is working towards ending violence, harassment, and abuse. For The Menstruator aims to create a world of menstrual equity.

“Every person in Richmond has the right to feel safe, but each individual also holds the responsibility of fostering a safer and more respectful community,” says Vedanshi Vala, BOLT Safety Society co-founder and executive director and a Richmond resident. “The Safe Hubs team calls upon Richmond businesses to step up courageously by joining our network of safe spaces. We ask individual Richmondites to share the resources made available on the BOLT Safety digital platform, and take a stand against violence, harassment, and abuse.”

The promotion of Safe Hubs was motivated by a recent series of attacks in Vancouver, which “invokes anxiety and apprehension within the community” according to a Safe Hubs news release.

Safe Hubs currently has 17 locations within and beyond the Metro Vancouver region. Nearby locations can be found on the program’s website, along with additional support like shelter resources, self-defence tips, and other programs.

“The City of Richmond's vision statement is ‘honesty, integrity, and respect,’ which speaks to an underlying culture in Richmond that values safety and equity,” says Vala. “Collectively, individuals and businesses in Richmond can truly make a meaningful difference.”

For more information, visit boltsafety.org/safehubs"

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