According to a statistic from UN Women, an estimated 736 million women globally—almost one in three—experience physical and/or sexual assault at least once in their lives. This alarming statistic resonated with Vedanshi Vala and drove her to launch BOLT Safety Society, a non-profit providing a technology-led platform focused on personal safety for women and seniors. The idea for the BOLT Safety platform came to Vedanshi during a trip on public transportation; she noticed passengers on their phones and began thinking about how hand-held devices could be used to run a support program. Vedanshi wanted to leverage the existing technology we hold in our hands to create an affordable and effective solution to the lack of security experienced by women across Canada.
Vedanshi is co-founder, chairperson and executive director of BOLT Safety Society. Her mission for the organization is to foster allyship for survivors of trauma, spread awareness and provide educational programming focused on personal protection. Through initiatives like Safe Hubs, a network of supportive spaces in partnership with local businesses, and Safe Buddies, a group of volunteers on standby to ensure that individuals reach their destinations safely, she believes in the power of community standing with women.
Vedanshi has a passionate desire to make Canada a safer place and is a true ally to survivors of abuse and trauma. Since founding BOLT Safety Society, she has inspired her team members and her surrounding community to work together to enhance personal safety for marginalized groups, prioritizing social justice and implementing positive change. In recognition of her tireless hard work and her dedication to BOLT Safety Society, Vedanshi was recently awarded the Vancouver General Hospital and University of British Columbia Hospital Foundation’s 2020 Outstanding Young Ambassadors Award for Leadership. Her ambition for the future is to become a medical doctor with a focus on helping survivors of trauma.
BOLT SAFETY SOCIETY
Based in Richmond, B.C., BOLT Safety Society creates safer spaces by providing resources and information to support women, seniors and survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse. Founded in 2020, the organization aims to reduce violence and abuse within communities across Canada and challenges the victim-blaming stigma that still pervades society. Since its launch, BOLT Safety Society has continued to grow, helping more people feel safe while building more inclusive and welcoming communities across the country.