opinion

This is the group chat every Australian woman will recognise this weekend.

Yours could be a WhatsApp group with the girls you went to school with.

It could be a group text with your siblings and mum.

Mine’s a Facebook messenger chat with some of the women I work with.

Regardless of which app you use and who with, there’s a group chat every Australian woman will recognise this weekend.

On Thursday night, friends and I spent 20 minutes in a group chat making sure a mate got home safely. Status updates filtered through 30 seconds apart amongst general group chat banter and random conversations.

It’s scary just how normal it felt. As normal as talking about your crap day at work or sharing Instagram screenshots.

“Btw I’m in a dodgy part of Redfern walking…”

“Can we do anything to help? I’ll watch you on maps. Do you want money for an Uber?”

“I’m like 10 mins away. Ended up on a dodgy street.”

“There’s a suss man walking towards me.”

“Do you have your keys?”

“Across the street from my building.”

“Are you in your building or your apartment?”

“Home xx”

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It's scary just how normal these kinds of conversations feel in group chats. Images: Supplied.
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If this conversation feels familiar, it's because it is. It's exactly the same one you're having in your own group chats.

The group you tell when you're waiting at the bus stop when you had to stay back late, or when you catch an Uber home from a night out.

Sometimes, it feels stupid sending someone a message about something that used to be a non-issue. Is this even doing anything and does it matter? Would this save me?

We know killers don't care if you're FaceTiming with your sister, as murdered international student Aya Maasarwe was when her life was taken getting off a Melbourne tram.

It doesn't phase them if, like fellow Melbournian and aspiring comedian Eurydice Dixon did metres from where she lived before she was murdered in 2018, you message a friend that you're 'almost home'.

But at a time when danger feels hopelessly inevitable, letting your friends and loved ones know you're 'on way home' or 'catching the train now', however fruitless it might be, is strangely comforting.

Dropping a pin or sharing your location on Google Maps in real time is a small act of self-preservation, but it's also our way of taking the power back.

In the wake of Aya's death, Mamamia Out Loud asked, how much do we deserve to know about the final moments of a woman’s life? Post continues after audio.

Some might say it's unfair that only women are having these conversations in their group chats, not men. That men aren't sharing tips about looking people walking towards you in the eye, and always saying hello because it humanises you.

But we're past fair. We passed that point long ago.

Now, it's about doing whatever we can to get home safely each and every night. So please, don't forget to message your friends, your mum, your sisters or whoever your people are to let them know where you are this weekend.

Even if it feels silly, just do it.

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