A few days ago, 33-year-old Sarah Everard went missing after leaving for home from her friend's place in London.
It was approximately a 50-minute walk, but she couldn't complete it. Some time later, her body was found a few miles away from the spot she was last seen at.
This has sparked outrage in the UK as the need to prioritise women's safety has become a huge topic of discussion again.
Went to Clapham Common this afternoon to lay some roses for #SarahEverard. Sarah, I did not know you and yet I feel connected to you. It could have been any of us and I’m so sorry it was you. May you rest in peace 💜 #RIPSarahEverard #JusticeForSarah pic.twitter.com/qo4Y3x2FbH— katie ☘️ STAY AT HOME & BE KIND (@_katieemerson) March 15, 2021
Now, amid all this, women across the world have been sharing something. It's a simple line. 6 words: Text me when you reach home.
We will discuss it further but before that, let us see how this started. It started after personal trainer, Lucy, shared this post on Instagram.
Seems basic, right? Well, this post has more than 2 million likes and there is a reason for that: It's relatable. And that is the sad reality of our times. As Lucy mentions in the post:
The deep sense of connection is one of fear.
This is so true. There is an inherent bond all women share that is founded on trauma, it's founded on terror, it's founded on the fight against terror that we are all fighting each day. From the moment we wake up to the moment we sleep.
I don't need to talk to a woman to know that she goes from one side of the road to another when a group of men walks from behind at night.
I don't need to know her name to know that she puts on extra layers when stepping out in public, lest she "invites" harrasment.
Lastly, I don't need to know about her life to know that just like me, she also tells her friends, "Text me when you get home", and waits eagerly for them to say that they have.
Every woman has sent or received this message and at this point. It just comes mechanically to us.
We could be drinking, about to sleep, late for work, early for a date, in a supermarket, at home - it doesn't matter. If we know that our woman friend is travelling, this is one text we will always leave her with.
And not getting an answer to this message is one of our biggest fears. A fear we live with, every day.
The fact that I’ve thought about my escape route and whether I’ll be able to run in the shoes I’m in.— bails (@bailsalbrt) March 13, 2021
The fact that I’ve been harassed further and even followed for not responding to cat calls.
The fact that I’ve had a cab driver shut off the gps. #textmewhenyougethome
That's the emotion this line evokes in me and here's what the internet feels about it.
This insta post is sadly brilliant. 30 years old and this is still something me and my friends do. Without even thinking at this stage of our lives. Crazy. No one sleeps till the last person is home in the taxi! #TooManyWomen #TextMeWhenYouGetHome #UnwrittenRule pic.twitter.com/Ep29TIYlqy— ™ (@Tweet_Cheeks_21) March 11, 2021
This made me stop & really think hard. ‘Text me when you get home’ has been a standard sign off for me & my friends each & every time we leave a night out for years now. It shouldn’t need to be.... #textmewhenyougethome https://t.co/CNZeU0Yv0q— Lydia Larcum 💙 (@LydiaLarcum) March 13, 2021
The fact that almost all womxn I know have been sexually harassed.— sara hicken (@sarahicken) March 16, 2021
The fact that when harassment is reported the first thing asked is “what we’re you wearing”?
The fact the person who’s supposed to help you is committing these crimes.#textmewhenyougethome #RIPSarahEverard pic.twitter.com/mmCUc2yWgG
“No amount of mindfulness, or personal choices, or sensible shoes can ensure a woman can outrun a system that refuses to prioritize and protect her.”#SarahEverard #textmewhenyougethome https://t.co/QMctp9cIFd— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) March 15, 2021
#textmewhenyougethome— Clare Martin (@clmarts) March 13, 2021
Yes it’s not all men. But it’s enough. I was taught to have strategies. Multiple risk assessments. Every womxn I know has a story. I got self defence class. Did the boys school do extra classes on not attacking women?
#textmewhenyougethome because pepper spray is not a gift, and I’m tired of getting it as one.— Lindsey Elizabeth (@linze_eliza) March 16, 2021
Sitting here reading all the #textmewhenyougethome messages and this text comes in from a friend. It’s this standard in our lives. I have the address for the restaurant & we always share locations anyway. It’s that engrained in our lives. pic.twitter.com/rWawZ0HNPX— Michelle Alberto (@sea_iego) March 15, 2021
What’s mental about the phrase #textmewhenyougethome is that until now, I’ve never realised we shouldn’t even have to say it, it’s simply become habit— Daisy (@daaissss_) March 11, 2021