Friday 21 October 2016

Emma Murphy: Dublin mum takes stand against domestic abuse with powerful video

Emma Murphy
Pic: Facebook
Emma Murphy Pic: Facebook

THERE has been worldwide praise and support for the bravery of young mum-of-two Emma Murphy, whose personal video recounting her abuse at the hands of her former partner has gone viral with some two million views.

Emma (26), a fitness blogger from Dublin, posted the video to her Facebook account last night after much thought and consideration.

It has been viewed more than two million times and shared by almost 50,000 Facebook users.

She tearfully told how she decided she was no longer going to be a victim of domestic abuse and had decided to leave her former partner.

READ MORE: Courage of abuse victim in online video is praised

Throughout today, Emma has today been praised for speaking so honestly.

The story and video has been picked up by major news outlets in the UK, Australia and the US.

In the video, Emma has an obvious injury to her left eye, and tells of how she has been physically assaulted and subjected to mental cruelty by her former partner whom she described as the "love of my life".

Emma 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.

Emma Murphy
Pic: Facebook
Emma Murphy Pic: Facebook

“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.

Speaking on a radio station earlier today, she said she had spoken to gardai about the matter.

Ms Murphy told listeners to Dublin station 98FM that she had posted the video to stop herself from going back to her former partner.

“It was the final nail in the coffin. By posting it, I knew I would never be able to go back.”

“I still love him, of course I do, but I will never forgive him for what he did. I never want to go back to that.

“People might say I stayed after the first time he hit me, or after I found out about the earlier affair, but no one who is not in that situation knows what it is like.

“I felt so weak. I lost friends and family because they didn’t want me to.

“It’s easy to for people to say I should have walked away but I thought he still loved me and that he had made a mistake.

“It was only this time, when he showed no remorse that I knew I had to leave.”

In her own video, Ms Murphy concludes: "If anyone out there has gone through something similar to what I’ve gone through, you need to find the courage and get away from anything that’s an unhealthy as violence.

“Go to your friends and family, people who love you and care about you.”

The young mum, whose children, a boy and a girl, are both under the age of three, explains that it took until now to realise the violence she claims she was enduring was unacceptable.

“I finally realised that no, this is not acceptable,” she said. “No man has the right to put his hand on a woman. No matter how big, how small, no matter where you’re from.”

“It is not right to raise a hand to a woman and it’s only now that I’ve realised that.

"Even once is unacceptable, but to be made to feel that it is acceptable is even worse.

"To be made to feel that you’re paranoid or insecure, that’s mental torture, and no man should do that to any woman," she said.

Jacqueline Healy, Women’s Health and Human Rights Officer praised the young mum of two.

“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 Dublin woman’s video has been shared around the world, and has received widespread praise from many people sharing their own stories of abuse at the hands of their partners.

Commenting on the video, one Irish women said: “Very brave, Emma. Thank you for walking away and breaking your silence.

“My mom also was in an abusive relationship. Took her 9 long years and 5 kids to finally break away.”

One Australia woman wrote: “My ex-husband used to fly into a rage and destroy our house. If he finished the house but was still angry, that's when he would come for me. This went on for 3-4 years.”

“Thank you for finding the courage to get away from this man. Thank you.”

Polly Neate, chief executive of Women's Aid said: “The 'mental torture' Emma describes, as well as her visible physical injuries, convey the complexity of domestic violence, and it is important that this is understood by society.”

The CEO of one of the US’ biggest women’s welfare shelters said she “applauded Emma’s bravery".

The executive officer of Rape and Domestic Violence Services in Australia, Karen Willis added her support to Ms Murphy’s brave video: “We have this image that people who experience domestic violence somehow have something wrong with them.

“Then we see a woman who’s really strong and capable with an online following and inspiring, and we know there is no barrier to such violence.

“Ms Murphy deserves praise for bravely sharing her story.”

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