herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Brave Emma Murphy to speak at international anti-domestic violence conference

Emma Murphy and former partner Francis Usanga
Emma Murphy and former partner Francis Usanga

Dublin mother Emma Murphy will speak at an international anti-domestic violence conference later this year.

The Ballymun woman (26) was seen by millions around the world in a video she shared on Facebook revealing she was a victim of a physical attack at the hands of her former partner and father of her young children.

TV fitness instructor Francis Usanga claims he only pushed Emma.

Brave mum-of-two Emma now looks set to talk about her ordeal on an international stage after it was revealed she will speak at the World Conference of Women’s Shelters in The Hague in November.

When contacted by the Herald last night, she declined the opportunity to comment on her role at the conference.

Since Emma’s emotional social media post went viral, support organisation Women’s Aid revealed the number of Irish calls it received has increased by 48pc, with traffic to its website also doubling.

Meanwhile, up to 80pc of women fleeing domestic

violence were turned away from Dublin refuges in the first quarter of this year due to the growing housing crisis.

Tusla, the Children and Family Agency, said many women who sought help and had children with them were given sleeping bags because of a lack of space in Dublin refuges.

Tusla said that compared with last year, almost twice the number of women and families were being turned away from refuges.

The agency’s manager Joan Mullan, said two refuges were reporting for the “first time” that they could not accommodate women.

Waiting

Dublin’s women’s crisis refuges have places for 33 women and up to 80 children, but the

average waiting time to get into the units has risen significantly.

“Spaces are not being freed up in these units because there is nowhere for the women and their children to move on to due to the lack of housing,” Ms Mullan said.

More than a quarter of women seeking refuge have returned to an abusive partner.

Only one in 10 women moved from the refuges to private rented accommodation in the first three months of the year.

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