Courage of abuse victim in online video is praised
A video posted on Facebook by a Dublin mum-of-two who has spoken out about being the victim of an abusive relationship has gone viral on the internet.
The woman has today been praised for speaking so honestly about her violent experiences by a womens' representative group.
The brave and tearful mother posted the video yesterday and it has already been seen by almost three million viewers.
The young woman has an obvious injury to her left eye, and tells of how she has been physically assaulted and subjected to mental cruelty by a man who was at one time the "love of my life".
Jacqueline Healy, Women's Health and Human Rights Officer praised the woman.
"We know that in Ireland, one-in-five women will be the victim of male violence and we have to praise her for her courage to speak out so honestly about her experience and share it on social media," she told the Herald.
Her experience shows women from all walks of life are affected by domestic violence. It also demonstrates how extremely difficult it can be to leave a violent relationship due to the emotional abuse experienced and the fact that children are involved.
"Another factor is that many women are economically dependent on the perpetrator and feel they cannot afford to leave the abusive relationship," Ms Healy added.
The woman, who is in her 20s, recorded the message while sitting on the stairs.
"I need to do this for me and my children, to raise awareness for other women out there," she says.
In the video she tells how the man she was in a relationship with punched her and "split her head open" in previous episodes of violence.
"I've been told I'm paranoid, that I'm a psycho, that I'm nuts, and that my insecurities will kill me one day, even up until now he tells me my insecurities will kill me," she explains.
She calls for victims of abusive relationships to seek help and leave their partners for their own safety, warning that if a violent incident happens once it is likely to happen again.
She also appealed for women to walk away if they are in danger.
"It is very difficult for me but I have to do what is right," she said.