Woman’s six-word text goes viral
An Instagram post featuring an image of just six words has gone viral as women around the world mourn the death of UK woman Sarah Everard.
Ms Everard's death has prompted an outpouring of grief from the public, with many women sharing stories of violence by men. It also comes amid outrage over alleged sexual harassment and assault in Australia's Parliament, sparked by rape allegations put forward by former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins.
UK personal trainer Lucy Hamilton captured many women's feelings when she posted a screenshot of a WhatsApp message many women would be familiar with. It simply said: "text me when you get home".
The post struck a chord among women and it has now been liked more than 2.7 million times.
In the caption to her post, Ms Hamilton wrote that she hadn't been able to stop thinking about Ms Everard and "how a woman was not allowed to walk home".
The 33-year-old disappeared after walking home about 9pm from a friend's house in South London. A policeman has now been charged with her murder.
Ms Hamilton said she had had conversations about how being hyper-conscious of safety was just something that women had done throughout their entire lives.
"We have all shared our live locations," she wrote.
"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 ran down dark roads.
"We have all theorised our escape routes."
She said the phrase "text me when you get home" was "auto-pilot" and standard procedure among women.
"What's so insidious is that these things don't even feel like 'special safety tools'," she wrote.
"They're literally just engrained behaviours and actions we've had to pick up since we were little girls. Because "that's just the way it is'."
She concluded her post with the line: "A woman should have been allowed to walk home".
Other women reacted to the post in the comments, with one saying "Thank you for wording this so well".
Another said: "Nearly cried reading this, those words were perfect but sad it was truth".
A vigil for Ms Everard turned ugly on Saturday when police roughly manhandled women who had gathered to pay their respects.
The crackdown sparked outrage and calls for London's Metropolitan Police Commissioner to resign.
UK Opposition Party leader Keir Starmer, a former public prosecutor, called the scenes in Clapham "deeply disturbing", while London mayor Sadiq Khan said they were "completely unacceptable".
Protesters then gathered in the city's Parliament Square and outside police headquarters at New Scotland Yard on Sunday, holding placards reading, "Which of us is next?", "Police are the perpetrators" and "Which vaccine protects me from this pandemic?"
Ms Everard's death in the UK has coincided with a groundswell of anger over sexual violence against women in Australia, with more than 100,000 people marching around the country on Monday to demand action on misconduct and assault and an end to misogyny.
Originally published as Woman's six-word text goes viral