TEXT ME WHEN YOU GET HOME


text me when you get home

 


By Ruby Pritchard / 17 March 2021

Image

Illustration by Lena Blacker

TW: Sexual Harassment 


As young girls, we’re fed toxic a narrative insinuating that we’re somehow the issue. That, as women, we should take precautionary measures to protect ourselves from being attacked when out alone after dark. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I’m tired of it. Sarah Everard took steps to keep herself safe and still fell victim to an abhorrent crime. We need to stop putting the onus on women. It only increases this mutual feeling of fear and vulnerability. The spotlight should be on the perpetrators. Not on whether the victims took ample care to prevent themselves from “running into trouble”. It’s an archaic and quite frankly unjust outlook. Sarah Everard was NOT at fault. This needs to be clear in everyone’s minds first and foremost if we’re to make any progress towards dismantling this culture of victim blaming.

 

 

“Walk quickly,”

They said, 

“Avoid unlit paths. 

Cross the road 

If he follows too close behind.”

I was raised to believe 

The problem was me. 

When in fact, 

The problem

Lies with those 

Who follow lone girls 

Down dark alleys

When no one is watching. 

I was a child 

When my body became politicised,

Sexualised. 

Things I could not fathom 

(I was only twelve, after all). 

My womanhood became more pronounced;

My hips widened,

My breasts swelled. 

“No, not that top,”

My mother said. 

“I am surely the issue,”

I mused. 

When the issue 

Rests with those 

Who whistle and holler 

And grow angry 

When we don’t respond

As our hearts race

And our palms dampen with sweat. 

The streets are deserted. 

No one would witness 

If he ventured closer 

And utilised my femininity 

For his own gratification. 

I am older now. 

And my heart breaks 

When I think of all the girls 

Who hurry home 

With their keys between their fingers,

Their best friend on speed dial. 

We are tired of living in fear. 

We are reclaiming the power. 

We are taking back the streets 

From those who had no right to own them 

In the first place. 

Text me when you get home 


Art by

lena blacker
Words by
ruby pritchard

Share this article