A 26-year-old woman has revealed the injuries she suffered, allegedly at the hands of her partner, in a video posted on Facebook.
Emma Murphy, a mother-of-two and fitness blogger from Dublin, bravely made the decision to speak out about the domestic abuse she has endured, in order to inspire other victims to speak out. Her post has been shared over 68,000 times since she chose to broadcast her plight to the world yesterday.
In the deeply upsetting footage, Emma is seen with a badly bruised and swollen eye she says she sustained in an attack by "the love of my life".
With one of her children in the background of the video, Emma alleges that her boyfriend of three years assaulted her on a number of occasions. Most recently, she says, he punched her in the face, after she accused him of cheating on her. In another incident last year, she claims he split her head open. And he punched her in another incident prior to that.
"For the last year and a half, I've been told that I'm paranoid, that I'm a psycho, I'm nuts - that my insecurities will kill me one day." a visibly distressed Emma tells the camera.
"After Friday's events, I finally realised that no, this is not acceptable. No man has any right to put his hand on a woman. It's only now that I've realised that."
Emma says that she has since left her partner, and the father of her two children, adding, "our lives have been totally torn apart".
"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!" she wrote, in the accompanying Facebook post.
Emma has been flooded with messages of support and solidarity since she posted the video yesterday.
"Oh my god this has broken my heart!" one person wrote. "You are such an amazing strong woman! You are truly incredible for what you have done for yourself and your children. I don't know you but I feel incredibly proud of you for speaking out like this."
Another woman wrote, "Hi Emma I have been a victim of physical and emotional abuse. It took me a long time to leave and a long time to get some self-worth and to stop looking over my shoulder. I still find it hard to trust anyone and I still have bad days, but I know I'll be ok, as you will be too. You are a amazing and beautiful person and a wonderful mum. If there is anything I can ever help you with let me know. Stay strong beautiful lady."
Two women are killed every week in England and Wales by a current or former partner, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics. Every minute police in the UK receive a domestic assistance call – yet only 35% of domestic violence incidents are reported to the police. On average, a woman is assaulted 35 times before her first call to the police.
Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of domestic violence charity Refuge, tells Stylist.co.uk:
"Leaving a violent partner takes incredible strength and resilience. I applaud Emma for her courage and hope her video encourages many other women to reach out and seek support. Domestic violence is a subject shrouded in silence, yet it affects one in four women at some points in their lives.
"If you are experiencing domestic violence, you are not alone. Refuge can support you - please visit refuge.org.uk. If you are concerned about a friend or family member, you can make a difference; visit our website 1in4women.com for information on how to support her."
Watch Emma's video in full, below.