Newly released evidence in the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp situation shines a light into the reality of domestic violence and that reality is men and women face nearly equivalent levels of domestic violence.
The video, over an hour long, hosts secret recordings of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp private and candid conversations while revealing damning confessions by Heard. Since it’s release, #AmberHeardIsAnAbuser has been trending on Twitter.
She admits to assaulting Depp multiple times but justifies her behavior by saying that Depp is being a “baby” about it. One of the most disturbing parts is transcribed below:
Heard: “I’m sorry that I didn’t… uh, uh… hit you across the face in a proper slap… but I was hitting you… It was not punching you. Bitch, you’re not punched.”
Depp: “Don’t tell me what it feels like to be punched…”
Heard: “You know… you’ve been in a lot of fights, you’ve been around a long time.”
Depp: “No, when you fucking have a closed fist.”
Heard: “You didn’t get punched, you got hit! I’m sorry I hit you like this, but I did not punch you! I didn’t not fucking deck you. I fucking was hitting you! I don’t know what the motion of my actual hand was but you’re fine! I did not hurt you!”
But she did hurt Johnny Depp. Also released was photo evidence of her cutting of the tip of his finger as well as burning him in his face with a lit cigarette. The least horrifying of the graphic photos below:
Domestic violence is often touted as a “women’s rights” issue but the truth is, it’s a human issue and women are just as likely to initiate violence against a domestic partner as men. Even worse, the cold fact is that violence against men is almost always ignored, not just in the criminal justice system but in the media as well.
Depp tried to get help numerous times from his abuser but instead Amber Heard was able to profit from the violence by and the moment she told the world she was the victim, most believed her. Johnny Depp lost not only his Pirates of the Caribbean film role but numerous other financial opportunities as well.
“Believe all women” is a dangerous precedent and ignores all the data epidemiologists have been gathering over decades.
Statistically, heterosexual men are just as likely to be victimized in a domestic violence situation as heterosexual women.
A 12-month study done by Centers for Disease Control in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice revealed the unnerving reality: more men were victims of domestic abuse in 2011 by their partner than women were.
We also know that men are less likely to understand what is happening to him as abuse as there is no wide spread education like there are for women in similar situations.
And because there is not acknowledgment of this sort of abuse, most men did not seek help through the channels that are ignorantly targeted towards women. The ones that did try to reach out for help from domestic violence agencies and hotlines? 78% were told “we only help women,” and almost 64% were referred to a “batterer’s program” implying that they were the aggressor, not the victim.
Because of this, society continually fails to recognize women abusing men as a real threat. An undercover video by BBC showed the huge difference of the public’s reactions when a male was aggressive with his partner vs. when the woman was the aggressor.
Until we recognize that there is a gender symmetry in physical and psychological violence, individuals like Johnny Depp will continue to have their lives ruined and be victimized further by our own inaction.
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