October 4, 2017
Public Transport

Are Women Safe on Melbourne's Rail Network?

Personal Safety is an ongoing concern for everyone. News about crime sprees and violent assaults is constant in today’s 24-hour news cycle. The pursuit of reliable, ongoing means to protect ourselves, or those we care about, has never been more important. 

An article in “The Age” in August discussed personal safety in the context of Melbourne’s rail network. Referencing a study by Plan International, and analysis of data from the study by Monash University’s XYX Lab, it is clear commuters feel the need for more protection. 

The Plan International Study found 14% of the survey results tied to public transport, 60% of which related specifically to the rail network. Arguably the most alarming statistic from the study, a staggering 1 in 4 women feel unsafe on Melbourne’s public transport network at night. 

Carmel Prowd, a member of Plan International’s Youth Activist Group, has liaised directly with Metro Trains on the topic. One of the measures she advocates is replicating a technology-led solution used in Singapore – a text message service that could be monitored by Metro and support users of the rail network during times of perceived or actual danger. 

This would certainly bolster existing measures -  static Alert Buttons and Protective Service Officers, but it is hard to know when Metro could facilitate such a system (or the cost associated).

Ms Prowd also notes “In scenarios where women feel like they are being harassed by a fellow passenger, it may … not be safe or possible for them to reach an alert button."

This is precisely the logic underpinning Duress - a personal safety and emergency response service developed by BodyGuard Technologies. Duress is a user-controlled and always carried alert button like those in Melbourne’s rail network, tied to an enhanced version of the messaging system used in Singapore. 

Built into a mobile-friendly App format, Duress users activate a simple monitoring function when in fear of their safety by either holding a finger on their screen or inserting headphones. This tracks users at Duress' 24/7 Operations Centre, a highly specialised and accredited Security Service who oversee all Duress licenses. 

If the situation escalates Users simply let go of the phone or rip out their headsets and the Operations Centre are activated – live video, audio and location is transmitted from the User’s phone to the Duress Operations team who diagnose the threat and if necessary can engage Police directly, bypassing Emergency and 000 protocols thanks to a special accreditation they hold.

Imagine how much safer commuters would feel if they each had their own 24/7 alert button and messaging system? 

To find out more, contact Duress by Clicking Here!


Plan.org.au. (2017). Women's safety on public transport in Melbourne. [online] Available at: https://www.plan.org.au/media/media-releases/womens-safety-on-public-transport-in-melbourne [Accessed 4 Oct. 2017].

Lucas, C. and Boseley, M. (2017). 'I won't take the train': Why young women fear Melbourne's stations at night. [online] The Age. Available at: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/i-wont-take-the-train-why-young-women-fear-melbournes-stations-at-night-20170809-gxsgme.html [Accessed 4 Oct. 2017].

Scott Reilly
Hi I'm Scottie! I'm the social media manager for BodyGuard Technologies.

What families across Australia are saying.

This is incredible, it'll definitely make me feel a little if not a lot safer. For my girls too, brilliant. 👊❤️
Anastasia Rose
"I absolutely love this app, I have put the duress on my 2 daughters phone, I feel so much at peace knowing the duress is watching out for them, thank you so much for such a useful app xx"
Dionne Heaven‎
A very well thought out App. You can't put a price on safety, especially for your children. I think every parent ought to buy this for their kids. I love it !
Duress User
In an uber alone and just used duress for the first time. As soon as I activated it I felt piece of mind. No matter what happened to me the police would be notified and would have my location. Chances are nothing would happen but I felt safer and more protected. This is a real game changer for women when they're alone.
Caryn Baird‎
For those of us that have experienced violence that is on going such as domestic it's a brilliant idea
Joyce Richards
I absolutely love this app, I have put the duress on my 2 daughters phone aged 12 and 14, I feel so much at peace knowing the duress is watching out for them, thank you so much for such a useful app xx
‎Dionne Heaven‎
This would be a brilliant protection for victims of domestic violence. Too often the courts let an offender out on bail to just reoffend again. This us a great idea.
PE Barclay
I've been assaulted twice in the past week I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,I had a mobile which was smashed in the first incident so was unable to call police or emergency services,luckily someone witnessed the incident,something like this could have stopped me from now having a bleed on the brain,broken jaw,crushed finger and the list goes on.
Kimbo Richo
This is incredible, it'll definitely make me feel a little if not a lot safer. For my girls too, brilliant. 👊 ❤️
Anastasia Rose