Survivors' voices help shape discussion to stamp out domestic violence

Australia’s former Chief of Army is calling for a national day of domestic violence remembrance.

Speaking at a national summit on family violence in Canberra, 2016 Australian of the Year David Morrison said there should be a national focus on the issue, proposing a national day of remembrance.

"We need to pause, I think, at least on one day of the year to think about millions of Australians who have had almost no say, whose potential, whose aspirations, have been squandered as a result of domestic violence,” he said.

Mr Morrison's comments came amid growing calls for a countrywide framework to be setup to tackle domestic violence.

In 2015, Irishwoman Emma Murphy posted a video of herself online, sitting at the bottom of a staircase, her young son Xavier on the steps behind her.

In a pink hoodie, hair pulled back, her black eye is clearly visible.

“I’ve been thinking long and hard and contemplating whether to post this video,” she said to the camera.

The Dublin mother of two – then 26-years-old – described her relationship with a man who she says was “the love of her life”, including his infidelity and the three separate occasions where he physically assaulted her.

“I finally realised this is not acceptable, no man has a right to put his hand on a women. No man at all, no matter how big, how small, no matter where you’re from, it is not right,” she said through tears.

As soon as she uploaded the video to her Facebook page, the impact was immediate.

"It was hectic, from posting that video, my phone wouldn't stop ringing. It was constant,” Ms Murphy said. remembering how her message went viral.

“It wasn't just from Ireland, it was from all around the world. It was from kids, parents, other women going through it."

Her video has since been viewed millions of times.

Two years on, Ms Murphy said she still feels the impact of her decision to share her experience.

"They get courage from my story, from listening to that video.

"Only recently, I had a girl mail me and she said, 'I've watched your video six times today because I'm looking for strength to leave my relationship,' which she did," she said, smiling.

Ms Murphy travelled to Canberra to attend the National Family Violence Summit, to try and pass on some of her courage.

The annual event, now in its second year, was facilitated by the Tara Costigan Foundation which was set up in memory of a young Canberra mother who was killed by her former partner, in front of her children.

Founder Michael Costigan, Tara’s uncle, said the main goal of the summit is to bring services and resources from across the country together to create a national framework to tackle domestic violence.

"We will put that together to serve the sector and to help the sector be better at marketing and engaging and setting up funding streams, just giving the sector support, bringing it together," he said at the event.

Domestic violence survivor Rebecca Poulson, who also attended the two-day summit, agreed.

"We really need to work together to get a unified voice,” she said.

“Something like a national framework that we can all work towards, like what is the best practice ... and we really do need victims’ voices in that plan.”

Ms Poulson believed establishing best practice starts with education.

"It would be so wonderful to have family violence and awareness of family violence, what it looks, what it feels like in every single school in Australia,” she said.

“Just like we have stranger danger awareness in schools, and we don't have family violence awareness in school."

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.