Viral videos: Technology encourages abuse victims to come forward

Young woman's raw video of bruised face goes viral


SAN ANTONIO – An Irish woman is getting worldwide attention for a YouTube video depicting her bruised face. She said she wants the world to truly see domestic violence.

"I'm from Dublin, I have two children. I've been in a relationship for three and a half years with the guy who I thought was the love of my life," Emma Murphy said as she began the video.

On Tuesday, Murphy decided to tell her story and that of many women suffering through domestic violence worldwide. She said she posted the video days after the father of her children abused her.

"He punched me in the face, and it wasn't the first time. Last year, he split my head open," she said in the video.

This time, she left him.

"Even once, it's unacceptable. But to be made (to) feel like it is acceptable is even worse. To be mentally tortured and told you're paranoid or insecure," Murphy said.

She said she posted the video for other victims who feel trapped in dangerous relationships, and asked others to share it if they feel it would help someone they know.

Experts who have joined in KSAT's domestic violence series "One Voice, 1,000 Stories," saying this online trend is quickly bringing awareness of the horrors of domestic violence.

Julia Raney-Rodriguez, director of legal services for San Antonio Family Violence Prevention Services, praised the video and others like it.

"I think these days, because it's now so easy to turn a camera on yourself, that women are feeling empowered, that they have evidence, and they can tell their story and people will believe them," Raney-Rodriguez said.

She said in the past few years, technology has allowed abuse victims to eliminate the "he said-she said" situation, which is very common in domestic violence cases.

Another part of this is the Internet. If you look at Murphy's Facebook post, with the same video, you'll see hundreds of thousands of shares, likes and comments. The comments are from people all over the world sharing their personal stories, all very similar to hers. 

"You need to find the courage and get away," Murphy said in her video.

"[The Internet] draws victims together, it empowers them and I think it will really help move the domestic violence movement forward," Raney-Rodriguez said.

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