Internet attacking Amber Heard for her account of abuse
Over the weekend, Amber Heard was trending on Facebook again. Since late May when Heard filed for divorce from Johnny Depp, it seems we can’t go two weeks without one of them trending and having their faces spread across our social media feeds.
Recently, I’ve come to dread when Heard’s name begins to trend. Like most, I know that the comments section is a dark abyss that should be avoided, but that often doesn’t stop me from scrolling down to read the opinions of others.
In Heard’s case, those opinions are enough to give me a pit in my stomach.
Since she first filed for divorce, Heard was accused of using Depp for his money, as well as making up the abuse allegations to tarnish his reputation.
I don’t personally know Amber Heard, nor do I know Johnny Depp. I don’t know what really happened. I don’t know who’s telling the truth.
What I do know is the rhetoric being thrown at Heard is absolutely barbaric and feeds into a culture where women are afraid to come forward about their abuse.
She did everything survivors are told to do — she quickly took the case to the police, took pictures and videos, removed herself from the situation and spoke up about her experiences. Apparently, that was enough to condemn her.
The reason she was trending this weekend was because she appeared in a YouTube video for GirlGaze Project, speaking about violence against women. The comments, again, were disgusting.
Why attack a high-profile woman for speaking on a topic we all can agree on?
If I were to take a guess, I’d say it probably comes down to Depp, rather than Heard.
It’s easy enough to think of an abuser as a stereotype. It’s harder to think of an abuser as someone we’ve grown up with — someone we love.
I’m a massive fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and I have been since the movies first came out. I watched all those quirky Tim Burton movies that Depp appeared in. I’ve even considered getting the same sparrow tattoo that Depp has.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was the first role I saw Depp in since these allegations came to light. His presence on screen, for the first time in my life, made me very uncomfortable.
We don’t know the details of the allegations and we don’t know the whole story of what really happened. Because the stars settled the allegations, it’s likely we’ll never know. That’s difficult for us, as fans.
I have to hold Depp to a standard — in the same way that I supported Rihanna through the Chris Brown abuse, I feel I have to stand with Heard.
Whether the claims are true or not is really irrelevant at this point. They’ve already settled their case in court with people who are far more educated on the inner-workings of their relationship.
Now we have to look beyond the anecdote and see the bigger picture.
Even if Heard is lying, what she’s doing is good. She’s standing up for a cause that we should all believe in.
When you call her a gold-digger in the YouTube comments, you have to know that a woman who really is being abused is going to read it. Seeing the backlash against Heard could be detrimental to women who really need to escape.
Regardless of whether the allegations are true, support what’s morally right.
When you don’t have all the information, that’s as simple as keeping your accusations against an alleged survivor to yourself.