Amber Heard avoided speaking out about Johnny Depp’s abuse for similar reasons many victims do

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp

In light of the typical and ongoing speculation about what possible reasons Amber Heard might have had to avoid speaking out publicly about Johnny Depp’s abuse previously (Probably because accusing high powered men of abuse always plays out well for victims, who always become rich as a result… Always.), a recent statement to the LAPD clarifies.

Surprise! It’s the same reason countless women don’t call the cops on their male partners — because they don’t want to hurt their abusers and they don’t want to create what surely will be perceived as “drama.” Heard was only went public because “Johnny’s team” began making “vicious false and malicious allegations” to the media. In other words, she wanted to keep things quiet (and deal with the situation privately) but was forced to defend herself.

The Wrap, who recently published a shit-slinging diatribe by comedian and Depp’s supposed friend, Doug Stanhope, essentially accusing Heard of being a golddigger, reports:

“The statement… point[s] out that many victims of domestic violence do not file police reports against their abusers. ‘In reality, Amber acted no differently than many victims of domestic violence, who think first of the harm that might come to the abuser, rather than the abuse they have already suffered.'”

The statement from Heard’s lead attorney Samantha F. Spector and her co-counsel Joseph P. Koenig goes on to say:

“We took the high road. Unfortunately, Johnny’s team immediately went to the press and began viciously attacking Amber’s character. Amber 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.”

A story as old as time… Rarely do women want to go through the ordeal of calling the cops and filing reports on our abusers. We are usually forced into this situation as a last resort. And rarely do we want to speak publicly about the humiliation of abuse, risking public character assassination and further harassment.

“In domestic violence cases,” the statement reads, “it is not unusual for the perpetrator’s playbook to include miscasting the victim as the villain.”

Indeed. We are always the actual “abusers,” always manipulative golddiggers — evil women who can’t stand rejection, who lie and have ulterior motives for hurting and taking advantage of these poor, innocent men. Good god, the insane things I’ve heard about myself, due to my abuser trying to clear his name by publicly trashing and discrediting me… It would be amusing if it weren’t so common — as Heard’s representatives say, straight out of the abuser’s playbook.

The bravest thing a woman can do is come forward about abuse and, in part, this is because she knows full well that her abuser will respond by vilifying her; by lying about her complicity, motivations, and character; by painting himself as the true victim.

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Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.