DUBLIN — A young mother of two is sharing her experience with domestic violence in a heart-wrenching video, pleading with other women to leave abusive relationships — and her message is striking a powerful chord.
In just 18 hours, Murphy’s video — which shows her with a black eye — has been shared more than 57,000 times and watched more than 3 million times.
“I have the courage to actually do something about it this time. Because even once it’s unacceptable, but to be made to feel that it is acceptable is even worse,” Murphy said. “To be mentally tortured and told you’re paranoid or insecure, that’s mental torture and no man should do that to any woman.”
The 26-year-old mom said the final straw came July 3 when she confronted her partner — who is not named but whom she called the man she “thought” was the love of her life — about him allegedly cheating on her. They were together for 3 1/2 years and have two children.
She said she first learned of his infidelity last year when he impregnated another woman. The stress caused her to go into early labor, she said, but she “tried to forgive him, gave him another chance and took him back.”
Last week, she learned he did it again. When she went to the gym to confront him about it, she said he denied her accusations then punched her in the face after she threw his phone.
“It wasn’t the first time,” she said. “Last year, he split my head open.”
But the latest beating caused her to put her foot down more sternly than ever.
“For the last year and a half, I’ve been told I’m paranoid, I’m a psycho, my insecurities will kill me one day,” Murphy said.
“After Friday’s events, I finally realized that, ‘No, this is not acceptable.’ No man has any right to put his hands on a woman.”
In Murphy’s home country of Ireland, about one in seven women has experienced “severe abusive behaviour” — be it physical, sexual or emotional — from a partner at some time in their life, according to a 2005 study cited by Women’s Aid.
In the U.S., the figures are just as bleak: one in five women and one in seven men have experienced several physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Murphy said she wasn’t sure whether to post the video but decided she “needed to” share her story, for the sake of her children and others who feel trapped by abuse.
Experts said there are a range of reasons why someone may stay with an abuser, ranging from fear to love, shame and anxiety, or financial dependence upon the same person who hurts them.
Murphy said it took her at least three painful, violent outbursts by her partner before she was able to leave.
“So now I’m a single mother of two, two beautiful children,” Murphy said through tears, adding that she’ll be honest with her children when they ask why their father is no longer around.
She went on to urge other women in violent relationships to “walk away.”
“Because more often than not, if it happens once, it’ll happen again,” she said.