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Thursday 29 September 2016

'My dad's heart was broken when he saw me' - Brave Emma Murphy on family's reaction to domestic abuse claims

Denise Calnan and Conor Feehan

Published 09/07/2015 | 11:01

Emma Murphy and Francis Usanga
Emma Murphy and Francis Usanga
Emma Murphy (Photo: TV3)
Emma Murphy (Photo: TV3)

An Irishwoman who has publicly accused her former partner of domestic abuse said her dad’s heart was ‘broken’ when he saw her injuries.

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Dublin mum Emma Murphy (26) made the allegations against Francis Usanga (28) in a video posted on Facebook on Monday. The five-minute clip has been viewed more than six million times worldwide.

Mr Usanga, a gym owner and budding actor, has admitted to having a row with Emma, but said he 'pushed' her and did not hit her.

Gardai are reported to be following a "definite line of inquiry" in the investigation into the alleged assault.

The mother-of-two said she posted the video online to her Facebook account to ‘protect her kids’.

“My dad’s heart was broken when he saw me, that’s the way a dad should be,” she told the Dublin Gazette newspapers.

“I just want to protect [my kids] and to show them that this is not acceptable from anyone.

“It’s not acceptable to touch a woman.”

Emma, from Ballymun, Dublin, said her former partner Usanga has not tried to contact her since the allegations.

“Physically, I feel really, really drained. I have lost a lot of weight over the last few days and I’m very emotional that it has come to this,” she said.

Emma Murphy spoke out about domestic violence she suffered in a video she posted to social media this week
Emma Murphy spoke out about domestic violence she suffered in a video she posted to social media this week

“I still love him with all my heart, and it kills me to think we’re just not going to be together again.

“He doesn’t deserve to be with me – I know that with all my heart, but it’s sad that it got to this, and it’s sad that our relationship was in so much turmoil.

Emma Murphy (Photo: TV3)
Emma Murphy (Photo: TV3)

Read more: Domestic violence: Are we doing enough for women in abusive relationships?

“We’ve two gorgeous kids and we’re just going to be miles apart now.

“We’re not going to be even on talking terms,” she continued.

“He has not tried to contact me and that breaks my heart.

“When somebody hits somebody else, you show remorse and sorrow.

“There was no remorse, and that’s really hard for me to take because I thought I meant more [to him].

“It was the mental abuse, telling me I’m psycho and paranoid and I’m always moaning.

“Saying nasty things and name calling, that killed me. 

“Calling me awful names, in front of his family and his kids and it was getting disgusting. 

“Between the two of us, it was tough because I was led to believe I was a psycho,” Emma continued.

“It’s wrong what happened and I have to stand by what I believe in.

“I have a young girl and if somebody was to treat her the way he treated me, how would he feel?”

Read more: Brave Emma Murphy's estranged partner says he 'is not a violent person'

In the exclusive interview with the Dublin Gazette, Emma said she never thought the video would garner so much attention. She has since appeared on TV3 programme 'Midday' and ITV's 'Loose Women' to tell her story.

“I never in a million years thought this would happen, but in saying that, I am proud of what’s happening because I am inundated with emails, calls, people telling me they are so inspired that I have helped them. 

“It’s been a bit too much though, and been so hectic that I haven’t been able to be attentive to the kids and I don’t like that so I’m probably going to turn my phone off for the next few days and go away because I didn’t expect this reaction.

“It’s getting to me, it’s getting me down. I haven’t slept," she said about the alleged assault.

“It has torn us apart, but I believed what I was doing and I had to go with it.

“I kept quiet about the other times so I don’t believe I should have kept quiet again.

“I know when I posted [the video] – that was it. It was final and that was a killer, it really hurt me. 

“It was scary but something in my heart told me it is right.

“I have to stand up and be a good role model for my kids. 

“If I was accepting the cheating and a box it would make me even weaker than I was.

“I am weak, but I feel like I’m getting a little bit of my strength back.”

Read more: Emma Murphy: Man in hiding after being accused of beating ex-partner

Meanwhile, Ms Murphy's estranged partner Francis Usanga, has ‘gone to ground’, according to his colleagues.  

Co-workers at Mr Usanga's Dublin gym, FX Fitness in Santry, told the Irish Independent that he had "gone to ground for a few days" in a bid to escape the media spotlight. He has also deleted his personal and business social media pages.

In the damning video, Emma claimed he punched her in the face after she confronted him about cheating on her.

A Garda spokesperson last night said they are following a "definite line of inquiry" in relation to the assault of the young woman. It is believed the incident occurred outside Mr Usanga's gym on July 3.

The Women's Aid freephone helpline is 1800 341900.

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