Monday 24 July 2017

'I need to do this to raise awareness for other women'

Emma Murphy goes through a range of emotions in this series of screengrabs from the video she posted on Facebook which was recorded on the stairs of her home in Ballymun
Emma Murphy goes through a range of emotions in this series of screengrabs from the video she posted on Facebook which was recorded on the stairs of her home in Ballymun
Emma Murphy goes through a range of emotions in this series of screengrabs from the video she posted on Facebook which was recorded on the stairs of her home in Ballymun
Emma Murphy goes through a range of emotions in this series of screengrabs from the video she posted on Facebook which was recorded on the stairs of her home in Ballymun
Emma in an older image from her Facebook page
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Sitting on a stairway in her house, tears stream down Emma Murphy's badly bruised face.

Speaking about the attack she suffered at the hands of her partner, the mother-of-two from Ballymun in Dublin explains why she is filming the video.

"I need to do this for me and my children, to raise awareness for other women out there."

The video has struck a chord with many of the three million people who have watched it on Facebook and which has been taken up by news organisations here and abroad.

Emma appeals to women to walk away if they were in danger.

"It is very difficult for me, but I have to do what is right," she said.

Emma tells how the man she was in a relationship with punched her and "split her head open" in previous episodes of violence.

She reveals she had been physically assaulted and subjected to mental cruelty by her former partner whom she still describes as the "love of my life".

"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.

Emma's stance has been praised by women's groups and viewers across the world.

A spokeswoman for Women's Aid urged women in abusive relationships to seek help. "We don't comment on individual cases but we urge women who might find themselves in these situations to go for help.

"Attempts to undermine what a victim says are very common, but the victim is never to blame. The perpetrator and society at large tend to blame the victim.

"Every woman who comes forward with a story must be believed. Coming forward is a very difficult thing to do. Nobody does it lightly."

In her video, Emma makes an appeal to women in similar circumstances.

"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 mother, whose children, a boy and a girl, are both under the age of three, says: "I finally realised 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 realised that."

The Women's Aid freephone helpline is 1800 341900.

Irish Independent

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