Find everything you need to make and execute a personal safety plan in this article. Note that some of our tips pertain to users of BOLT Safety's mobile platform on the WIX app, but they can be modified and applied to any communication platform.
PART 1: Safety Plan Tips
We recommend using your personal 'Safe Buddies' group (e.g. group chat with trusted friends or family) to communicate safety plans- for example, you can copy-paste and fill in the following template:
Where I'm going:
When I'm going:
When I'll be back:
Who I'm going with / meeting:
If I text 'bolt' to the chat, call me
If I send 'HELP' to the chat, come pick me up
To learn more about available support and resources, check out the Safe Hubs category under The Hub. This includes information on safe spaces in the community that you can escape to in the event of an emergency.
PART 2: Connecting with Safe Buddies (designated or trusted contacts)
Have a blast on your night out, or work trip- whatever awesome thing you're going to get up to today! Here's how you can connect with your safe buddy: Step 1: Connect with your safe buddies Invite buddies that you trust with your personal safety to the platform, and make a secret group. Step 2: Establish a safety net Get a designated safe buddy who will be monitoring their notifications for any updates from you. Give them the who, what, when, and where's. Also give them a time to check-in on you, and establish a safety plan in case things go wrong (for example, 'If I send an alert, please come pick me up'). Step 3: Keep ‘em updated If there is any change to your plans, such as a change in location, leave a quick post in your group to notify your safe buddy. In the event of an emergency Don’t be afraid to call emergency services if you are being attacked or made to feel unsafe by another person. If you have been hurt in any way, physical violence or otherwise, it is not your fault. We believe you. If you want your safe buddy to call for help or support: type in @HELP and simply select "Help- follow our safety plan!" before posting the message to your group. This tells your safe buddy you need urgent help, and they can call 911, non-emergency services like crisis lines, call you, or come pick you up. This really depends on what your safety plan is.
PART 3: I'm a 'Safe Buddy' (i.e. trusted contact)
Step 1: Join the group Your buddy probably added you to a secret group. Join it. If they've got plans, they'll use this group to communicate them to you, and establish a safety plan (like where they're going, who they'll be with, when you should check-in on them, and what to do in the event of an emergency). Step 2: Keep an eye on updates Make sure your settings on the app are set so that you receive notifications. Check-in on your buddy around the time they said they'll be back. Responding to a call for help If your buddy sends a 'Help' alert (or other agreed-upon code word), and you are not given additional information about the nature of their emergency, follow the pre-determined safety plan. For instance, if you've agreed to pick them up, or give them a call to check-in. If you do not get a response, or your safety plan doesn't work, call 911 immediately and give the operator their last known address. If your buddy has been assaulted, find out how you can support them by reading the content we've published on The Hub under the Safe Hubs category. Options include calling crisis lines, seeking medical support, or filing a police report. The best way to know what to do is ask your buddy what they want to do next, and whatever their decision, support them. This might look like accompanying them to a medical exam, or to the police station, or if you are able to, letting them stay overnight so they have a safe place to be. This might also just look like you listening to them, and a non-judgemental individual to listen to their experience may be exactly what they need at that moment. The most important thing you can do as a safe buddy is to be non-judgemental, and believe a survivor when they share their experience. Victim-blaming is never the solution. The fault is systemic and the blame is on the perpetrators of violence.