Back Off Back Up serves as a signal indicating that it’s okay to ask for help and the associated app is a map of Brighton and Hove that identifies designated safe venues. The Brighton restaurants featured in the app offer a refuge for individuals experiencing harassment, feeling unsafe, or simply in need of respite.
In a world where the LGBTQ+ community encounters distinct challenges, this signal serves as a crucial lifeline, offering support and a safe haven for those who may face adversity.
What is the Back Off? Back Up. Initiative and why do we need it?
Back Off. Back Up. (BOBU) is an initiative that has emerged as an offshoot of Across Rainbows, an LGBTQ+ organisation focused on redefining queer identity. The BOBU initiative promotes emotional and physical safety within the LGBTQ+ community.
BOBU aims to empower people when they feel unsafe, whether physical or emotional. The initiative provides a safe spot where users can seek immediate assistance without fear of judgment or questioning. When we are in need of help, we can feel like our situation is not that important, we don’t want to bother staff. BOBU takes away that pressure. It is a signal that the venue is happy and ready to support you!
BOBU offers a range of resources to help people feel physically and emotionally secure within the community.
This includes inclusive hospitality training for venues, a 5-star rating system to provide feedback on safety commitments and an app that allows users to locate designated “safe places” and health venues.
Overall, Back Off. Back Up. is an important initiative that promotes safety and support within the LGBTQ+ community. a world where discrimination and hate crimes persist, Back Off. Back Up. is a beacon of hope, a call to action, and a reminder of the importance of compassion and inclusivity. It encourages individuals, businesses, and communities to come together to combat discrimination and create a safer and more equitable society for all.
Tell us about the BOBU App, what does it do?
The Back Off. Back Up. app is a vital component of the Back Off. Back Up. initiative, designed to create safer and more inclusive communities, especially for individuals who face discrimination, harassment, or hate crimes, with a focus on the LGBTQ+ community. The app will show you all the safe spots within your local area and where you can seek support if needed.
Key features of the Back Off. Back Up. app include:
- Safe Spot Locator: The app helps users identify designated “safe spots” in their vicinity, which are businesses and venues committed to creating inclusive and welcoming environments. Users can easily find these spaces with the help of the app, fostering a sense of safety and belonging.
- Healthcare Access: In addition to identifying safe spots, the app also assists users in locating nearby healthcare providers offering services related to sexual health, including HIV testing. This is particularly important for individuals who may face barriers to accessing healthcare services.
- User Feedback: The app incorporates a 5-star rating system that enables users to provide feedback on their experiences after visiting designated safe spaces and healthcare providers. This feedback mechanism helps maintain high safety standards and ensures accountability.
- Community Support: The app serves as a resource for individuals who experience discrimination or hate crimes, how to access local services, and seek immediate help when needed.
- Promoting Inclusivity: By using the app, individuals actively participate in promoting inclusivity and creating a safer environment for everyone.
Give an example of how the Back Off. Back Up App would work?
When a user logs onto the app they will see a map of their local area with purple markers showing the safe spots. If they are feeling threatened and don’t know where to go or what to do. They can follow the map to their nearest and open safe spot. Once they go in they can have the confidence to ask a staff member who can provide support. If it offers a quiet space to collect their thoughts, provide a phone to call a friend or taxi, or if possible provide a space to charge their phone.
BOBU allows users to not feel alone on the streets and empowers users to feel confident that they will get support without the added support or stress of homophobia/ transphobia/ queerphobia. We provide venues with one-of-a-kind training which protects staff, venues, and users.
Which venues do you work with in Brighton and Hove?
Any venue is welcome to sign up, we have 65 venues including Wagamama, Breakfast Club, Revenge, Lion and Lobster. Just to name a few. It is a growing number of Restaurants in Brighton and together we can make a safer city.
Is the BOBU initiative prevalent in other cities or countries?
We have just launched in London and will be rolling out to Manchester, Kendall and Kent. Eventually, we want to be in every major city in the UK and Europe.
If a business wants to support BOBU, what are the next steps?
If a business would like to get involved they can sign up their interest at w.backoffbackup.com
A member of our team will then be in touch with the next steps and more information.