Amber Heard: Abused women are met with ‘hostility, skepticism & shame’


A few weeks back, Amber Heard did a PSA about domestic abuse for the non-profit Girl Gaze. In the PSA video, Amber emotionally discussed her mindset even in the midst of a physically and emotionally abusive relationship, how she kept telling herself that she wasn’t a victim, all the while believing that no one would understand her or believe her if she even discussed what was happening. Anyway, after the PSA went public, Amber’s ex-husband Johnny Depp tried to “punish” her once again by leaking to TMZ that her PSA possibly violated their non-disclosure agreement, plus he tried to make it sound like she hadn’t donated her divorce settlement to charity yet (she hadn’t donated it because he hadn’t coughed up the money).

So what’s new? Amber is once again baiting her ex, apparently. Amber wrote an essay for the latest issue of Porter Magazine about domestic violence, shame and victimhood. Here’s part of her essay:

“You are not alone. You may have suffered alone behind closed doors, but you are not alone. You need to know that. I want to remind you of your strength, a strength that has been multiplied by the number of women who stand silently behind you—a truth that allowed me to break down the doors I once found myself behind.”

“Let’s start with the truth—the cold, hard truth. When a woman comes forward to speak out about injustice or her suffering, instead of aid, respect and support, she will be met with hostility, skepticism and shame. Her motives will be questioned and her truth ignored.”

Heard adds that “it takes real strength to come forward” and that “it isn’t easy to raise your voice, to stand up for yourself and your truth, and to do it ‘alone.'”

In the end, Heard expressed her own point of view during her difficult time, without naming any names, by explaining, “I was raised to be independent and self-reliant. I was never given nor wanted the burden of dependency. I never felt like anyone would or could rescue me, so naturally I resented the label of ‘victim.’ As I write this today, I can promise every woman who is suffering in silence, you are not alone. You may not see us, but we are there.”

[From Porter via E! News]

Of course TMZ already has a story about how Amber “might be walking a thin line with Johnny Depp’s lawyers” because of the “confidentiality clause prohibiting her from talking about Johnny.” I say that she gets to keep talking about all of this as long as Depp is refusing to pay out on her settlement. Of course, I also think she should keep talking even after Depp pays out. I have to think that Amber is very conscious of what she’s saying and writing too – she’s following the letter of the law, just not the spirit. She’s talking about how she was abused without saying the words “Johnny Depp abused me.”


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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65 Responses to “Amber Heard: Abused women are met with ‘hostility, skepticism & shame’”

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  1. Fa says:

    She’s right

  2. OTHER RENEE says:

    I have so much respect for this woman. I hope she finds happiness.

  3. Aims says:

    I agree. She isn’t saying, “this was my experience . ” I also agree with her 1000%. When women come forward and say I’m being abused they are often meant with cynical and a blaming response . The abused victim is revictimized again . Every single person who comes forward should be taken seriously .

    A few years ago there was a case of a woman who asked for a restraining order during her divorce hearing. She was strong enough to leave and she was terrified of her husband. The judge rejected her restraining order request . Two weeks later the woman was murdered by him.

    That story shook me to my core. She lost her life and her kids lost their mother, because nobody believed her.

    • Capepopsie says:

      What a sad story.
      I hope the judge lost his jobb,
      any respect he may have enjoyed,
      his credibility and peace of mind.

      • Aims says:

        Me too. The husband also had a well documented history of stalking her. I was so angry when I heard about this. The judge has blood on his hands .

    • squee says:

      That is so painfully awful. I’m so so sorry not many get outcomes they expect or deserve. I feel very lucky, when i was granted an emergency non-molestation order from my ex (the ’emergency’ part meant it happened within 48 hours and he didn’t have to be present/i didn’t have to see him) and not only was it an utterly huge relief, but it was extremely powerful emotional validation, the courts taking your situation seriously when you’re still at the stage of doubting yourself.

      It’s gutting that so many don’t get that and that story highlights the absolute most tragic and horrifying outcomes possible that can result from systemic and societal tendencies to question the victim and usually suspect lying/exaggerating.

    • meme says:

      Oh god!! so sad

      That judge who denied the RO must have read the statistics that said the 70% of the murders related to DV occur into the first three weeks after a woman denounce, report or try to leave (divorce) their abusers

    • detritus says:

      This type of story is too common, I could Margaret Atwood all day unfortunately.
      I want to point out though that restraining orders do not provide safety. They provide a legal document only. Often finalising a restraining order actually INCREASES the risk of women to violence from the person they are ‘restraining’. Stalkers and abusers are already not rule followers, telling them the law says so has very little impact other than making them mad.

      For many abusers, being told they legally cannot see their victim causes escalation. A few violence experts have strongly spoken out against them, and my personal experience supports that it makes violent abusers more violent and stalkerish, not less. You remove their control, they escalate to get it back.

      Here’s a link to an article that looks are both sides:

      • Dlo says:

        @detritus, my ex used to hold up a piece of paper and tell me “this is your restraining order” then tear the paper up to threaten me

      • detritus says:

        Ugh. Dlo. I am so sorry you had to deal with that type of behaviour.
        I’m glad you went into what a restraining order actually provides with eyes open, even if it was a shitty abusive opening. A TRO does not provide a police escort, does not even guarantee a quick response, and frequently makes unhinged assholes act like extra unhinged assholes.
        I hope you are safe now and your ex is nowhere near you and yours.

      • Lady D says:

        I am adamant that restraining orders come complete with gun. I bet the compliance rate would go way up. You can read a different story every gd day about a woman with a restraining order dying. Every day! It’s time restraining orders came with teeth, because the police just aren’t cutting it anymore.

  4. Ramona says:

    I cant wait for her tell all book. If he causes her work to dry up having put her in a position of having to donate her settlement, she should absolutely sell her story.

  5. meme says:

    She’s incredible brave. That’s why he and his lawyers are so butthurt…she must have been quiet and scared that his powerful lawyers would come for her with a lawsuit for breaking the confidentiality but instead she’s with her head straight, talking about her experience and like telling to his lawyers “come for me, i’m not afraid”

    About her messages, between this letter and the PSA, looks like she really resented the “victim” label, for a woman as strong as her, having to deal with the label “victim” it must make her pride to hurt more than the physical wounds

  6. Heather says:

    The more her ex chimes in with BS, the more I see her point.

  7. MrsBPitt says:

    JD won’t say Amber violated her confidentiality clause, because if he does, then she can write a tell all book, and he will screwed, BIG TIME! I almost hope that happens, because, I would love to know what took place in that marriage! I am so nosy! lol

    BTW…JD looks like a bloated, drunken, mess in that picture above! I cannot believe I ever thought he was hot!

    • detritus says:

      I wish, I wish, I wish she could write a book.
      I wish all the women who were hushed up could speak out. It would be deafening, but it would open so many people’s eyes to how scarily common domestic abuse is.

  8. Guesto says:

    Amber owns her abuse, it’s hers to talk about whenever, wherever and however she chooses to. And good on her for not allowing her bitter, twisted POS ex’s confidentiality-breach threats to impact on that.

  9. AMY says:

    I can only speak for myself. I left an abusive relationship seven months ago. I spent two months of those in a shelter for abused women because I had no place to go and no money to go anywhere with. I had been cut off from my family and all of my friends. It was the hardest time of my life and I never thought I would recover from that experience.
    However, I can see a bit light now and I am so glad that people like Amber are speaking out and bringing awareness to domestic violence. You are not alone. There are so many people out there to help.

  10. Ruth says:

    Per Amber’s lawyer, she’s the one who hasn’t signed the settlement yet ane that’s why he hasn’t paid her yet. Anyway whatever I hope they both move on and I strongly believe that there were a lot of things we never heard or will hear about this story. I have a feeling that there was stuff neither wanted to be revealed to the public. I’ve seen it happening before and that’s why I’m skeptical.

  11. Da says:

    I’m one of the women that can relate to Amber’s words. I was in an abusive relationship 2 years ago, and am still recovering.

    Whilst the abuse was horrific, it was the character assassination and victim blaming in the afterwards that truly traumatised me and until now, I remain afraid and guilt-ridden, somewhat unable to properly live my life and very much withdrawn in fear of humiliation again.

    I’m still anonymous in my ordeal and I find solace in reading what everyone else has been through. I have a few I really trust that try to help me day by day. Thank you for your stories, and I hope I have the strength to speak out about it one day.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this, it’s that there is no fixed time to healing – and it will all get better from continuous love and support from those that matter.

    • Chaz says:

      I just wanted to second your comment. The abuse is one thing and learning to deal with getting rid of the dark shadow of fear sat on your shoulder is another, but I wasn’t prepared for the character assassination or victim blaming either.
      I fact having to deal with betrayal in the form of silence, defamation and not one person being in my corner has made me a stronger but more cynical person.

      Abusers are always given the benefit of the doubt, as opposed to the accusers or victims. Unfortunately it is the way society rolls.

    • detritus says:

      This is one of the most hurtful things abuse brings.
      Even when you leave there is doubt cast on you, and frequently abusers are very successful in isolating their victims. This is why its so important not to give up if your friends are going through this. They need you when they finally leave.

      You ladies are incredibly strong for surviving in the face of that and I’m sorry people still treat survivors this way. Hugs if you want them and I hope your healing continues and you find your happiness pretty much tomorrow, because you deserve it.

    • SilverUnicorn says:

      Big hugs, DA!! xxx

  12. Tiffany :) says:

    “Amber is once again baiting her ex”

    Is that really fair to say? Maybe the point of writing this wasn’t about how it affects HIM?
    Isn’t she just writing about HER experience from her perspective? Has he taken her own life experience from her too, and claimed ownership to it? Are we going along with that narrative?

    She is speaking to other victims of abuse. I think it is a lousy thing to frame this as if it is a move against Johnny. More women need to speak out about their experiences. Look how many comments are from women who appreciate hearing these words. Let’s not apply pressure for them to be silenced.

  13. nic says:

    It’s even more fun when you share a child with your abuser and the courts give near 50/50 access to the man who choked you, beat you, and threatened to kill you on multiple occasions. Because being an abuser doesn’t disqualify you from being a good, no-need-for-supervision dad! Yays!

    • Chaz says:

      Exactly. I can remember when my lawyer and social services said the same thing. Just because he beats you it doesn’t mean he is a bad father. I just couldn’t fathom it.

      Or police telling you that the fact he destroyed the house contents around you and your babies and scared the hell outa everyone isn’t reason to arrest him. Sorry…he has to physically hurt you first. Ehhh..what?

      Domestic violence laws still aren’t what they should be and the support for people and children in this situation isn’t either.

      I left my abuser behind over 13 years ago and fought to keep my kids safe. He just wanted them for control and to hurt me through them. I took them overseas (legally) and watched them grow up safe and healthy.

      Depp will try and control what Amber says and does until he either gets help (unlikely) or she manages to cut ties completely. While she is in the same industry that will never happen, so she will always have to deal with Depp fans and victim blamers.

      • SilverUnicorn says:

        My mum had the opposite reasoning… because he didn’t beat her, he was still a ‘good’ husband, regardless of the amount of the abuse we, the children, were suffering.

  14. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    While i have never really been a fan of her or her acting, i have a new found respect for her. Keep going forward and keep shouting about this, in one way or another it will have made a difference to someone somewhere.

  15. Don't kill me I'm French says:

    Sadly she has totally right

  16. Cali says:

    I think she is one of the bravest women in Hollywood.

    I don’t care how many of his adoring fans want to pretend that he’s the victim, I will forever be turned off by him and not support his films. Although I never thought he’d ruin my beloved Wizarding World, I stand by my decision to boycott his scumbag a**. He makes my skin crawl. I did appreciate that a while back E! wrote a thoughtful article about JD and the differences in the way Hollywood men and women are treated with regard to scandal, rumor, etc. and how it barely affects the male career but nearly destroys the woman’s even if her thing was something that wouldn’t have even been a big deal if a man had done it.

    I would have SO much more respect and forgiveness (maybe) if he went to rehab, cleaned up his act and went public with an admission of what happened in his relationship with Amber, thus validating her claims in the public eye. That would be the proper thing to do.

    • Dlo says:

      I too, am devastated that the wizarding world has been invaded. But just like you, I will be damned if I am going to support anything JD does.

    • BrooklynTam says:

      Exactly right about the rehab and apology! I used to be a fan of his too and when Amber came out with her allegations I immediately believed her. And I was also hoping that he would go to rehab/therapy/apologize but that’s clearly not what he wanted to do. He was too busy trying to be an aging rock star on tour with his band when he should have been at home getting some serious help! He thought that he could smear,scare,and pay her into going away but he underestimated Amber and her evidence completely.

  17. BrooklynTam says:

    Yes Amber! She’s not afraid of Little Lost Scarf-Boy! She knows what she can and can’t say. But I was surprised when she did the PSA because I was assuming that she couldn’t say anything at all due to the NDA.But that Scarf-Douche has NEVER defended himself in court or out when he had plenty of chances to. She will not be silenced anymore.

    • Peachy says:

      She had her day in court and she blew it. She couldn’t even give a deposition good enough to hold up in trial. And this was the third attempt. The first time she lied saying she had a fitting in London but was seen in LA and the second time she showed up late and then refused to come out of room, yelling, screaming and pacing the floor the whole day and night.

      • BrooklynTam says:

        Wrong! Her lawyers said she didn’t behave like that and she did have a costume fitting the next week! Stop it! She gave a 7 hour depo meanwhile your boy has never denied anything!

    • cathy says:

      the wording of their divorce agreement confirmed that he did hurt her but it was “not intentional”. She got him to admit it but his fans will not even acknowledge it.

      • Sunrise says:

        Well it actually said “neither party” and since he wanted a mutual RO I’m not sure it means anything. An admission would’ve been “there was an intent to hurt Amber.”

  18. BrooklynTam says:

    Tmz is just desperate for stories and is hoping that she’ll get in trouble. Laura Wasser and Harvey Levin are friends and I’m sure they both can’t stand the fact that Amber won’t stay silent meanwhile Scarf-Boy has NEVER defended himself or denied anything!

    • Peachy says:

      Johnny doesn’t need to defend herself. His team is giving her the rope to hang herself and she’s doing a pretty good job at doing it. Just look at the gossip sites, and I’m not just referring to TMZ. Nobody believes her because she herself has a dv record.

  19. Hejhej says:

    Go Amber. It’s terrible sad to see her come out of this as the one being shamed, when Johnny is the abusive dirtbag. If 2016 has done anything, it has certainly made it very obvious just how much it’s a man’s world we live in 🙁

  20. Bitchy says:

    Now did Amber give all the money to charity?
    Or will she give it away “later” when she doesn’t need it any more because of her own (future) earnings?

    Btw. I wouldn’t hold such a trick against her. From the beginning I thought it wasn’t clever to promise all the money to charity.

    • Peachy says:

      She got paid for her role in Justice League but the domestic violence shelter she promised money to never saw a dime because she dropped her suit against Doug Stanhope.

    • BrooklynTam says:

      Yeah that’s why she gave 350,000 to the ACLU in August already and they confirmed it?! ! Stfu!! Why keep the money when she has wonderful people like tmz checking to see if she gave it or not?

  21. bogos says:

    This has to do with a general distaste for how people who seem weaker and more dependent calculate to survive rather than just about sex. If the situation were reversed, that is a low rank man abused by a rich and powerful woman, I wouldn’t think he would get much sympathy either.

  22. Peachy says:

    Did any of you people even take the time to read the court documents? Johnny had 23 witness against her seven (three who were her friends who didn’t witness anything). Some were Johnny’s security that were ready to testify they actually saw HER attack HIM and that she threw objects and punches and they had to pull her off him on many occasions. Amber Heard is no saint, people. Johnny had a picture of something only the Judge and Amber’s team was allowed to see and also a pic of himself taken on one of the days in April when she alleged he assaulted her which prove she was lying. Also, the maid found something which was part of his evidence also. He had over 100 pages of texts between her “witness” friends the day after the alleged May incident. She was said to have texts between Johnny’s assistant and her but she could not use them for her evidence because they were doctored.

    • BrooklynTam says:

      That’s why he chose to settle instead of fight in court?😂😂😂 So she attacked him? per tmz “sources”?😆 Stop it! If he really did have all that great evidence again why not fight instead of settling and putting out a joint statement about how Nobody lied nor made false statements and no “intent” of harm? Sounds innocent enough for me! She had medical records,texts,pics,emails,videos of more attacks.

      • Peachy says:

        Nope..she had no medical records except 1/2 of an incomplete page, texts that were doctored (she had no texts on her witness list) and, no e-mails for evidence but Johnny did. He had e-mails to prove she lied about the dogs in Australia. She sold her video to a gossip site when she could have tried to use it it court and she made up a stupid story about Johnny writing a message on a mirror with a finger he had just cut off the tip where blood would have been dripping everywhere. Besides, she even said in one of her statements she was not there when that even happened. Johnny did her favor by not exposing what a lying psycho this woman really is.