Irish fashion designer hit with abusive and threatening messages on Instagram 1 month ago

Irish fashion designer hit with abusive and threatening messages on Instagram

Sarah Murphy said that the abuse has been going on for over two years now.

*Content Warning: This story contains reference to rape, sexual violence and suicide.*

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Sarah Murphy, an Irish fashion designer, took to Twitter yesterday to reveal a sample of the abusive messages she's received after sharing her own experiences with eating disorders and sexual violence.

Murphy, who specially designed T-shirts to help raise money for the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, was sent messages calling her a number of derogatory and misogynistic terms.

Some of the messages contained threats of physical and sexual violence, while another told her to "kill" herself. The designer said that messages of this kind are exactly why many women choose to keep their own experiences of sexual violence private.

In her caption, Murphy explained the toll online abuse has taken on her.

She wrote: "After just over two years of receiving offensive, abusive and sometimes threatening messages I'm worn down. While I truly believe that if you put yourself out there and voice an opinion publicly then you should be able to stand over that opinion.

"You should be able to defend it from a position of knowledge based in understanding, truth and facts. You should not run and hide from criticism.

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"But there is a difference between criticism that challenges your point of view and straight up abuse."

She continued: "I have thought of leaving Instagram but I have quite a stubborn streak in me and that would feel like letting them win to me. Instead I'm going to be maybe a little quieter and probably stop talking about certain topics that seem to provoke such hateful messages."

She added: "Maybe I'll just exclusively post photos of only my dog instead, I mean he's really cute and my phone is full of pictures of him anyway. Surely no one can take offence with that?"

In the comments section, members of Ireland's fashion community reached out to Sarah with support. Additionally, the Instagram account for the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre called the abuse "absolutely unacceptable" and thanked her for speaking out on an issue that many women face.

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If you have been affected by any of the details of this article, you can contact Women's Aid's 24 hour helpline on 1800 341 900 and the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 77 8888.