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A Viral Post Saying “Text Me When You Get Home” Has Women Sharing How They Feel Unsafe After Sarah Everard's Death

"The deep sense of connection is one of fear.”

Posted on March 15, 2021, at 4:15 p.m. ET

Metropolitan Police, Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

As the British public continues to mourn the death of 33-year-old Sarah Everard and face the sinister potential that her alleged killer could be someone who was entrusted with protecting the public, the concern for women’s safety continues to gain momentum.

Everard, who was last seen on March 3, was making a 50-minute journey on foot from a friend’s house in South London when she went missing.

In what is believed to be the last known photograph of her, the marketing executive was dressed in brightly colored clothing and made her walk along one of the city's busy streets around 9:30 p.m.

Everard never made it home, prompting a missing person's search that was brought to an end when her family’s worst nightmares were confirmed. Her body was discovered on March 10, 56 miles away from where she was last sighted.

A police officer has been arrested and charged with murder. Her death has ignited a call for immediate action to address violence against women and girls, while activists have taken to the streets of London to protest.

The palpable grief connected to Everard’s abduction and death was felt by women across the UK and online, and served as a reminder of how violence against women and the threat of it are part of everyday life.

The sentiment was captured in a powerful post on Instagram from fitness expert Lucy Mountain, with the phrase “Text me when you get home xx.”

In the caption to support her now-viral post, Mountain 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. ⠀

“I’ve also felt a deep sense of connection between myself and other women this week. I’ve had conversations about how being hyper-conscious of our safety is just something we’ve done throughout our entire lives. The deep sense of connection is one of fear.”

Online, women have shared their personal experiences using hashtags like #textmewhenyougethome and #ReclaimTheStreets to emphasize the urgent nature of tackling violence against women and girls at the hands of men.

Twitter: @emilyhshead

Do men realise women share their addresses - or the addresses of bars/parks/date locations - with each other on WhatsApp, to keep themselves safe? We set up calls with our friends, too. “If you haven’t heard from me by 11pm, call me. If I don’t answer, call the police.”

Twitter: @nakedvix

The message is one the many women are accustomed to sending without hesitation — and almost as a default.

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

Twitter: @Tweet_Cheeks_21

#textmewhenyougethome 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? 1/2

Twitter: @clmarts

Some women shared how the fear would often make them hyper aware, to the point of planning their escape route if they were ever attacked.

The fact that I’ve thought about my escape route and whether I’ll be able to run in the shoes I’m in. 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

Twitter: @bailsalbrt

#textmewhenyougethome enough is enough! men should learn not to rape, assault, murder women! we are tired of hearing your advice of "self-protection". We do not need protection, we need cities where we do not need protection!

Twitter: @gOzlemm

Women shared how they feared for their friends and sisters who didn't confirm when they arrived at home safely.

I remember giving a list of things to "do once you get home" in a particular order so I knew my girl friends were safe and sound, we still end our days with #textmewhenyougethome and would be frantic if we heard nothing. This is the world we live in.

Twitter: @booschu

“Text me when you get home safe” is something I say to women I know before we part ways, and I’ve never thought about it. When I’m actually saying is that I worry something awful might happen to them and I won’t stop worrying until I know they’re safe. It shouldn’t be this way.

Twitter: @MiriamBrett

There’s a reason all my friends say ‘text me when you get home’ and chase me up if I forget, and there’s a reason I do the same back to them. This fear is so intrinsic to our nature we don’t even register it!

Twitter: @katierpacker

Thinking of all the times my female friends and I have said 'text me when you get home' to each other and lain awake until we've had that alert letting us know they're safe.

Twitter: @ChristinaMcMc

Thinking of the number of times I’ve been told/ told other women “text me when you get home” and the number of times I’ll have to tell my daughters.

Twitter: @chloe_geneva

The phrase and the purpose behind it is one that felt like a distinct shared experience among women, as Mountain put it in her post, "Text me when you get home xxx is a standard procedure amongst women. Auto-pilot."

Do men tell eachother ‘text me when you get home’? I doubt it very much.

Twitter: @NatashaGuiotto

The investigation into Everard's murder is continuing, as are demonstrations with more protests and vigils being organized by activists.


A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.