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Text Me When You Get Home: Powerful Post Is Inspiring Women To Share Their Experiences

“Text me when you get home”

This is a phrase that women have been saying to each other for years every time they leave a party, a friend’s place for dinner, or if they were working late. Women do this because of safety – because it is inherently more dangerous for a woman to walk home alone in the dark than men.

Since the kidnapping and murder of Sarah Everard in the UK earlier this month, women around the world are using the hashtag #textmewhenyougethome to tell their stories of sexual harassment and how they protect themselves.

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“Text Me When You Get Home”

Sarah Everard was a 33-year-old marketing executive in London, the UK. She was walking home one night after visiting with some friends when she went missing. When neither her boyfriend nor her friends could get in touch with her, they notified the police. (1)

Police found her remains a few days later. In the end, they discovered that she had been abducted and murdered by a Kent and Metropolitan police officer. (1)

Her death has sparked outrage in the UK and around the world, as women are tired of not being able to do something so simple as walk home without having to fear for their lives. Personal Trainer Lucy Mountain started the #textmewhenyougethome movement on social media after her lengthy Instagram post about the incident. (2)

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Women Are Outraged

Mountain starts out her post by saying that she is nearly at a loss for words. 

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“I feel like my words can’t do justice to how many women are feeling right now,” she wrote. “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Sarah Everard and how a woman was not allowed to walk home. It’s unbearable.” (2)

She explained how this tragedy has caused her to have many more conversations, particularly with women, about the things that we have to do to stay safe while out alone. These are things that have become second-nature to us that most men don’t even think about. (2)

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“We have all shared our live locations.
We have all changed our shoes.
We have all held our keys between our fingers.
We have all made phone calls, both real and fake.
We have all tucked our hair inside our coats.
We have all run down dark roads.
We have all theorised our escape routes.”
she wrote on Instagram. (2)

She then explains that these are ingrained behaviors that most women have been doing since they were young girls. When you tell another woman that you take any of these safety precautions, they don’t bat an eye. They will usually tell you that they do, too. (2) It’s a lot more than just “text me when you get home.”

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We Wish More Men Understood

To finish off her post, Mountain says that she wished more men understood this problem – really understood it.

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“I wish more men understood the fact that we cannot walk alone at night with headphones in.
That whenever we get in Ubers, there’s the lingering thought this could be it.
That whenever you say ‘they’re just being friendly, you are part of the problem.
That whenever we walk past groups of men, our heart beats a little bit faster.
That whenever we shout back at sexual harassment in the street, we take yet another gamble at risking our safety,” she wrote. “Stop harassing women.
Stop victim-blaming women. And stop burdening women with the weight of other men’s actions.
A woman should have been allowed to walk home.”
(2)

More Women Share Their Stories: #textmewhenyougethome

Hundreds of other women have begun using the text me when you get home hashtag to share their stories about safety measures they and their friends take to try and prevent what happened to Sarah Everard from happening to them. 

One woman Tweeted that this text is commonplace for women whenever they go out – not just to a bar or nightclub. 

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“I have a friend that texts me every time she goes to the gym. When my sister lived alone, she texts me almost daily places she was going. It’s not for chat or upkeep; it’s for fucking safety.” she tweeted. (3)

Another woman tweeted that she calls her mom every night when she leaves work. Her mom doesn’t hang up the phone until she is safely in her car.

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“I just said to my husband yesterday,  “I don’t wear a seatbelt in ubers, so I can run if I have to.”” wrote another. (4)

Women Are Tired

Sarah Everard was wearing bright clothing and running shoes. She was speaking on the phone to her boyfriend moments before she was kidnapped. Despite all of these safety precautions, she still didn’t make it home safely. (1)

Women are tired. We’re tired of victim-blaming; we’re tired of our safety always being our responsibility. When Everard’s murder was still on the loose, authorities told women to stay inside. This is not the first time this has happened. (5)

Green party member Jenny Jones decided to turn all of this “it’s women’s responsibility to protect themselves from harassment, rape, and murder by men” on its head and suggested instead a 6 pm curfew for men. Unsurprisingly, many men got upset. (5)

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“Perhaps, instead of a curfew, I could have offered the more moderate proposal that men are only allowed to walk along well lit busy roads in the evening, even if this adds another 10 minutes to their journey? Or if this is not acceptable, that they always pay for door-to-door cabs even if they are on a tight budget – although this can occasionally carry its own risks? Perhaps we should discuss the clothes men wear, or whether they drink too much when out with friends? Any of this sound familiar?” she wrote. (5)

Not All Men

While she agrees that not all men are monsters, she laid out the stats plain and simple for everyone to understand.

“By the time I made my curfew remarks last week, six women and a little girl had been killed by men since Sarah Everard disappeared,” she wrote.  “A recent survey found that among women aged 18-24, 97 per cent said they had been sexually harassed, while 80 per cent of all women had experienced sexual harassment in public spaces. Now either there is a small minority of men who are busy intimidating women 24/7, or this is way more widespread than men like to own up to.” (5)

It’s time for men to start taking responsibility – all men. If we are going to put an end to rape and harassment culture, then men have to start speaking up in spaces where women aren’t present. Locker rooms, while at work when groups of male friends are simply hanging out and talking about women.

This is where it begins. Let’s start educating boys to treat women better. Let’s start trying to make the world safer for women, so things like “text me when you get home” are no longer necessary.

It’s time to put an end to violence against women.

Keep Reading: Why More And More Men Are Wearing Makeup Today

Sources

  1. Why are women so angry after the killing of Sarah Everard?The Guardian.
  2. Instagram
  3. Twitter
  4. Twitter
  5. The outrage at my suggestion of a 6pm curfew for men exposes a depressing reality about violence against women.” I News.  Jenny Jones. March 15, 2021.
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.
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