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our work

Canadian 'tech startup meets non-profit' spearheads innovative work to combat sexual violence.
Here's the BOLT Safety Society story.

As per UN Women, 1 in 3 women globally experience some form of sexual violence. There are 525,600 minutes in a given calendar year. The University of Ottawa reported that on an annual basis, 460,000 cases of sexual assault are reported in Canada. This means an assault occurs every 1.14 minute. The Government of Canada reports that 107,810 people experienced domestic violence in 2019, of which 79% were women. Furthermore, women are five times more likely than men have a traumatic sexual assault experience, as reported by Statistics Canada. Other vulnerable populations, such as the young, the 2SLGTBQIA+, and Indigenous communities are reported to similarly be at greater risk of experiencing violence.

 

With such alarming numbers, there proves to be a need to improve the status quo in the current society. BOLT Safety Society strongly believes that with community-based programming directed at both providing tangible support and educating the community, we will be able to ameliorate safety conditions across the globe.

As a Canadian non-profit organisation that was incorporated federally in 2020, we have been advocating for survivors of sexual violence, domestic abuse, and harassment through our numerous initiatives. Our work has been recognized nationally by the L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth program, and we have advocated for gender equity at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. We have been featured in prominent Canadian media publications, including CBC News, CTV News, and Global News.

Our co-founders pioneered our novel tech-based entry into the non-profit world when they developed and launched our Digital Platform, which is available on the WIX mobile app or any web browser, providing a database of resources for survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse. Since then, we have carried out various large-scale initiatives including Project LyghtNyng, a series of educational workshops aimed at improving awareness on consent and personal safety. To date, the project has served over 850 participants across Canada, Kenya, and India. Additionally, with our Safe Hubs program, we partner with businesses to provide victims of abuse a safe space - there are 48 Safe Hubs spanning across 16 cities in BC and Ontario. Our Safe Buddies program operated a national hotline, providing both phone and in-person accompaniment to people feeling unsafe, later evolving into an event-coverage model. Safe Buddies have reached over 10,400 people through event coverage. Overall, our organization has had an impact on 27,600+ people with 1,948,000+ impressions across our platforms.

BOLT Safety Society’s current project, “Sexual Violence: A Global Pandemic,” is a research and documentary project that sheds light on the present conditions of sexual violence in Canada and other parts of the world. This project serves to spread awareness on existing support systems and conduct a comprehensive needs assessment for future interventions aiming to respond to this human rights crisis. Moreover, we are expanding our network of Safe Hubs and survivor-centric resource database on our Digital Platform, which can be accessed via a mobile app or any web browser.

impact at a glance

27,600+ people impacted globally*
1,948,000+ impressions**


*Estimated based on the following metrics: number of volunteers, workshop attendees, resource accesses from The Hub, reach through Safe Buddies event coverage, Safe Hubs map accesses, unique website visitors, social media and website followers / members.

**Sum of website, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube views
ANNUAL REPORT
2020-21 fiscal year-end report (link)
2021-22 fiscal year-end report (link)
2022-23 fiscal year-end report (
link)

our story, over the years

the highlights

2017
Formed a team under the name 'HP-TIE' and competed in the Anu and Naveen Jain Women's Safety XPRIZE, which had a $1 million prize purse, and called upon innovators worldwide to find a technological solution to women's safety concerns.

2018
Ran a month-long campaign, #StandForSafety, where students shared their stance on personal safety.

2019
Rebranded to BOLT, reflecting the importance of speed in safety. Launched the BOLT platform on the WIX mobile app on December 18th on UBC's Vancouver campus.

2020
Federally incorporated as BOLT Safety Society on 07-07-2020. Launched the pilot Safe Hubs project with 9 partnered safe spaces, funded by RisingYouth, TakingItGlobal, The Government of Canada, and Canada Service Corps. Premiered 'backyards with bolt', entailing interviews with community members on topics pertaining to safety and well-being.

2021
Hosted a global discussion event featuring panelists on period poverty and gender-based violence with our partners at For The Menstruator. Launched the Safe Buddies program in response to mounting concerns of street violence and harassment, which lead to features in notable media publications, including CBC, Global News, and CTV. We were later awarded a RisingYouth grant for Safe Buddies, leading to program expansion. Safe Buddies started to operate a national phone hotline, and provide event-based coverage, starting with the Drishti Awards Gala which saw over 700 guests.

2022
We presented to the City of Richmond Council, were among 10 non-profits Canada-wide selected to receive a charitable donation from L'Oréal Paris through their 'Women of Worth' program, got Google-funded (for life), got sponsored by Evo Car Share, covered our largest event with Safe Buddies yet (1,000 patrons), advocated for better legislation and had our statement read in the Canadian House of Commons (which led to the tabling of Bill C-28), took our work international in partnership with the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation and with the support of the Royal Family of Jaipur, launched Project LyghtNyng with over 150 workshop participants in the pilot stage, and called upon Government of Canada leaders to mitigate the lack of survivor-centric social services and shelters in rural communities.

2023
We spoke at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women’s 67th session in New York, launched a book at the Vancouver Art Gallery in partnership with TakingItGlobal, provided Safe Buddies coverage at the 5X Fest Block Party (which is the largest music festival of its kind in Canada) to a crowd of 7,500 people, lead a Humanitarian Mission to Kenya, expanded our Safe Hubs network across Canada by travelling to Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, BC, and Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario, and were competitively selected to execute multiple grant-funded projects.
Dec10,2018 HP-TIE.png

awards

2019

RisingYouth, TakingItGlobal, Government of Canada, Canada Service Corps
BOLT Safety Society awarded a grant for BOLT Platform launch


2020

VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation's Outstanding Young Ambassadors Awards
Vedanshi Vala named Leadership Champion

RisingYouth, TakingItGlobal, Government of Canada, Canada Service Corps
BOLT Safety Society awarded a grant for Safe Hubs



2021

Canadian Immigrant Magazine: Women of Inspiration
Vedanshi Vala named one of four 'Heroes on the Frontlines of the Pandemic' nationally

Surrey Board of Trade
Vedanshi Vala listed as a Top 25 Under 25 Honouree

Youth Leadership Society of BC
Vedanshi Vala awarded 'Outstanding Impact Award'

Steps Together Foundation
BOLT Safety Society awarded $500 for outstanding community impact

RisingYouth, TakingItGlobal, Government of Canada, Canada Service Corps
BOLT Safety Society awarded a grant for Safe Buddies

Fashion and Beauty United

Vedanshi Vala named a 'Wonder Woman'


2022

L'Oréal Paris
Vedanshi Vala named one of ten 'Women of Worth' across Canada
BOLT Safety Society awarded $10,000


Google
BOLT Safety Society awarded an Ad Grant
Valued at up to $10,000 USD of in-kind advertisements monthly, or $120,000 USD annually, for life


EVO Carshare
BOLT Safety Society received a driving sponsorship

YWCA Metro Vancouver Women of Distinction Awards
Vedanshi Vala a 'Young Woman of Distinction' nominee-finalist

OXY Canada: The OXY Prize

Vedanshi Vala named Top 6 'Face of Change' finalist Canada-wide
BOLT Safety Society was in the running to win $5,000


Richmond Chamber of Commerce: Business Excellence Awards

BOLT Safety Society among five nominees in the 'Association of the Year' category

Fashion and Beauty United

Shreyanshi Vala named a 'Wonder Woman'

2023

Certificate of Appreciation from Canadian Member of Parliament, Ms. Bonita Zarrillo
Presented in recognition of our efforts to foster safer and equitable communities.

United Nations CSW67

Vedanshi Vala selected as NGO Delegate as part of the Equal Chance delegation
BOLT Safety Society represented at the 67th Commission on the Status of Women at UN Headquarters in New York


TakingItGlobal and the Government of Canada: Sprout Ideas Fellowship

Vedanshi Vala selected as Fellow
BOLT Safety Society recipient of funding


RCMP Troop 17 Scholarship
Vedanshi Vala one of five award winners nationally for impact lead through BOLT Safety Society.

Richmond Chamber of Commerce: Business Excellence Awards

BOLT Safety Society among five nominees in the 'Association of the Year' category

Latincouver: Social Impact Grant for Youth
BOLT Safety Society recipient of funding

Frontlines: A Race to an Inclusive Canada
BOLT Safety Society recipient of funding
 
2024
 

BCBusiness

Vedanshi Vala wins the Women of the Year award in the Rising Stars category

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