Abuse

Amber Heard, Yet Another Case Of Victim Blaming In The Media

Recently actress Amber Heard has faced a lot of harshness and criticism after filing for divorce against her soon-to-be ex-husband, Johnny Depp.

Heard was granted a restraining order against Depp after a fight the two had on May 21st in which Depp threw his cellphone at Heard, allegedly hitting her in the face with it.

She filed for divorce on May 23rd and appeared in court a few days later with a bruise on her right cheek.

More evidence of prior abuse has been released. Photos of Heard surfaced from a dispute back in December of last year in which Heard has bruises on her face and what appears to be a cut lip, all of which she says were from Depp.

But, many people are all too quick to discredit Heard’s accusations towards Depp because in the divorce she is seeking a spousal settlement from Depp.

They claim she is making it all up simply to get money out of him.

Heard’s lawyers, Samantha Spector and Joseph Koeing responded to these accusations: 

“Amber Heard is simply a victim of domestic violence, and none of her actions are motivated by money. Amber is a brave and financially independent woman who is showing the courage of her convictions by doing the right thing against Johnny’s relentless army of lawyers and surrogates.”

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Her lawyers also say that her waiting until now to speak out is really no different than any victim of domestic abuse “(they) think first of the harm that might come to the abuser, rather than they abuse they have already suffered.”

Unfortunately, domestic abuse and violence against women have always been a far too common occurrence in our society.

These situations were once considered “personal matters” to be handled privately behind closed doors, but have recently been gaining more and more attention as victims of these acts began to stand up and speak out against their abusers and demand justice. 

However, these courageous women are rarely met with the support they need when speaking out against their abusers.

Often women who do so are immediately discredited as liars, as women who would make up such accusations to get attention, money from the abuser, or even for the sheer pleasure of slandering their name.

This recently happened to pop-star Kesha, whose attempt to pull from her Sony contract with Dr. Luke, a man who see claims who sexually and physically abused her for years, was denied in court because the judge claimed her accusations against were not enough. 

Similar things were also said to the dozens of different women who came out and said Bill Cosby had sexually assaulted them.

Heard and many of these other women had what the public always demands out of a women claiming to be abused: photographic or video evidence, police reports filed, eye-witnesses to back-up their stories.

And yet people in our society are still hesitant to believe them, but quick to call them liars.

This practice of almost never believing the victim is what causes women to stay in dangerous situations with their abusers for years.

We as a society need to step up and listen to them when they gain the courage to speak up, and not shame them for it.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: GabboT/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou Shows Why Abuse Doesn’t Always Have To Be Physical

Over the past couple of days one of the top trending hashtags on twitter has been #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou.

Using the hashtag, women online have been able to share their experiences of past emotionally and mentally abusive relationships, helping to break the stigma that a relationship has to be physically violent to be considered abusive.

In only 140 characters women from around the world have told the horrifying and true reality that some must face every day.

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For such a long time many people believed that in order to be considered an abusive relationship, there has to be a physical element to it.

Untitled3 Women who were in mentally and emotionally abusive relationships genuinely believed that if they did not have bruises or marks to show for it, that they weren’t being abused.

This idea is what for years kept women with the men who would insult, degrade, and humiliate them on a regular basis.

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But using the hashtag women are banding together and taking a stand. These tweets are bringing to light elements of abuse that thousands of women always considered to just be typical parts of being in a relationship.

They want to redefine what it means to be abused. Be called degrading names, being manipulated and controlled, and broken down by someone that “loves you” isn’t normal. It isn’t something any one should have to take.

Being made to feel lesser or not good enough by a significant other is not being loved. It is abuse.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

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