Emma Murphy, a 26-year-old mother of two from Dublin, has started a powerful discussion across the internet after posting a video on her Facebook page about the domestic abuse she has suffered.
Last night, the health and fitness blogger, whose 28,000 Facebook fans have come to expect motivational quotes, health tips, and photos of Murphy’s two young kids, made the brave decision to share a video in which she opens up about her choice to leave the father of her children, who she says has abused her both physically and emotionally.
In the video, which has now been viewed over 4 million times, Murphy, with a black eye and scrape on her chin, speaks of the trauma she has experienced.
“I’m 26, I’m from Dublin, I have two children. I’ve been in a relationship for three years with a guy who I thought was the love of my life. He was the love of my life,” she begins.
I thought long and hard before posting this video, this is very difficult for me but I have to do what is RIGHT, if you or anyone you know has it is in a similar situation please share this video to inspire other women around the world, violence is NOT the answer!!!!Posted by Emma Murphy on Monday, July 6, 2015
“Last year I found out he cheated on me with one of his clients. I found out in June but he denied it. She contacted me in November and told me she was pregnant. So with the stress I went into labour early, my world was turned upside down.
“You think you know somebody ... I loved him so much that I tried to forgive him and I gave him another chance and I took him back. Unfortunately I found out that he did it again.”
She then goes on to say that when she confronted her partner last Friday, he beat her.
“He punched me in the face, and it wasn’t the first time,” she says.
“Last year he split my head open at an event and prior to that he punched me as well and I had a black eye.”
Murphy also speaks out on the mental and emotional side to the abuse.
“For the last year and a half, I’ve been told that I’m paranoid, I’m a psycho, I’m nuts, my insecurities will kill me one day,” she says.
“I finally realized that no, this is not acceptable. 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 realized 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 shares the horror of watching her young son witness the abuse, repeating “children shouldn’t see any violence.”
Murphy concludes with a call to anyone else in a similar situation to seek help and support.
"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.”
Murphy’s video has gone viral in publications around the world, and her decision to speak out has been praised by fans, strangers and women’s rights advocates alike.
“We have this image that people who experience domestic violence somehow have something wrong with them,” said Karen Willis, the executive officer of Rape and Domestic Violence Services in Australia.
“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.”
Polly Neate, the CEO of Women’s Aid, based in the US, commented to Murphy “The 'mental torture' you describe, as well as your visible physical injuries, convey the complexity of domestic violence, and it is important that this is understood by society.”
The video has received almost 12,000 comments, with many Facebook users opening up about their own experiences with domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is impacted by domestic or family violence or sexual assault, there are a number of support groups that can help. In the US: The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Safe Horizon. In Ireland: Amen, Safe Ireland, and Women's Aid.