Actress Amber Heard was recently granted a temporary restraining order against her mega-star husband, Johnny Depp, as part of their divorce case, after alleging several instances of domestic violence throughout their marriage and when they were dating. Heard and Depp previously made headlines when they illegally brought dogs into Australia in violation of that country’s quarantine laws and had to issue a video apology. That incident has now taken a backseat to Heard’s explosive allegations, which include photos of her bruised face and details about Depp’s temper.
(Update: The allegations now include a video which allegedly shows a verbally abusive–and seemingly inebriated–Depp)
The release of Heard’s allegations has led some from Depp’s camp to question her motivation and/or veracity. Part of their argument is that she leveled the abuse charges at a time when many divorce-seeking celebrities stop talking to the press. Instead of keeping details close to the chest in an effort to resolve the divorce quietly, her team has pursued what appears to be a calculated strategy of going public, offering photos and details about her situation.
The couple reportedly has no prenuptial agreement, so tarnishing Depp’s image, possibly with threats of more details to come, arguably gives Heard additional leverage in the divorce settlement; Depp’s team, meanwhile, likely wants to protect his image (and assets) by squelching this story as quickly as possible. But none of this should minimize the trauma Heard suffered. Her lawyers might be leveraging the situation, but it also seems they have evidence for their allegations.
Heard is not alone
Domestic violence is a concern for women in all walks of life, even someone married to a multimillionaire like Depp. According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence, every 9 seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten in the United States, and one in three women have been victims of some form of physical violence from an intimate partner.
Meanwhile, domestic violence, which can include physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological abuse, is part of a systematic effort by the abusive partner to control the victim.
Getting to safety
Anyone who experiences domestic abuse needs to have a safety plan that helps protect them, whether they choose to leave or to remain in the relationship or return to the abuser (and many victims do). A person in immediate danger should call 911. The National Domestic Violence Hotline can provide advice and information about how to get to a domestic violence shelter and obtain legal assistance.
Victims of abuse can seek a restraining order against the perpetrator in family court, and they don’t need to have a divorce in progress to do so. A victim can also report the abuse to the police, who may arrest the alleged abuser. In those cases, a restraining order can be issued by the criminal court.
Courts are likely to grant temporary restraining orders with little evidence—testimony of the victim is usually sufficient, because the court’s overriding concern is to prevent further harm. A long-term restraining order can be granted after a hearing or if the parties agree to it.
Evidence of abuse can include testimony by the victim and witnesses, along with police reports, photos, videos, and hospital records. Photographs provide powerful evidence, so victims should have someone photograph their injuries as soon as they safely can. Making sure there is documentation by police and medical professionals is also extremely important.
Justice for all
Finally, unlike Heard, most abused wives find themselves in family or divorce court fearful for their lives, and with limited financial resources. These women also deserve good legal counsel, especially since it is their safety (and that of any children) that is at stake.
Emotional abuse over a period of time might hinder that or any attempt to seek help, especially if there are limited resources, financial or otherwise, or, lack of support. In this case, it does not appear to be an act of severe emotional abuse, nor an inability to provide ones self with financial or emotional support. All of which makes it appear to be more of a contrived complaint. Since police were not called to the scene at the time of the alleged incident, it could be that bruises may have been the result of a myriad of possibilities. This lady does not appear to be a person who stands back, but, has proved to be more forceful in many of her romantic situations, even with a domestic abuse being filed against her by a former partner. However, the other side seems to be quiet and taking everything in stride. His former partners have no ill words, quite the opposite. It would be extremely detrimental for all victims of abuse if a situation such as this turns out to not be as much of a domestic violence situation as a purposeful act of positioning ones self to improve one's divorce outcome. Situations such as this, if proved to be less true, could eventually weaken complaints by others who may be in truly abusive relationships, possibly causing law enforcement, prosecutors and judges to be look at cases as being simply forms of retaliation or positioning in for a more profitable divorce settlement.
The problem with this story and what bothers me is Heard waited until filing divorce to make these sensational claims and she waited until after Depp's mother died to file divorce!
There are actual Police reports that can be used as evidence that Heard herself is an abuser as she was arrested for Domestic Violence for assaulting her previous female partner. Unlike her relationship with Depp whon she called the Police on and they said they found NO evidence of any crime or domestic violence.
Do I believe Depp and Heard had marital problems and agrued like any other couple? Absolutely but I do not believe he abused her especially not physically. It is a shame that Amber Heard would go to such great lengths to try and discredit Depp, fabricate abuse and bad mouth him. It is unbelievable that she would cry wolf when so many women are being beaten and/or murdered from Domestic Violence, that's what is disgusting.
I would add everyone, those with limited finances and those with unlimited finances, both male and female any age, adults and children all deserve good legal council against abusers. Regardless of sexual orientation, race. No victim is to blame for any occurrence of domestic abuse or violence, it is caused by the abuser, the perpetrator.
I wonder how much this is fully understood by both the victims and the abusers. Abused statistics in the United States makes me think something is very very wrong. Do we have parenting right? The sense that a child believe that it is the most important thing in the world is very twisted, its a time bomb. Children have to learn to respect others and value the worth of others as much as themselves. Love yourself as much as you love others, not just the self. Are we bringing up generations of narcissistic disorder brats?
I for one am delighted Heard went public, even if it doesn't look like it was intentional but rather circumstantial. Silence is the real killer. A restraining order is the first course of legal action to safety for any victim and cannot nor should not be questioned. Abusers cannot walk away with settlements and believe they can, they need to be legally and publicly ousted to end the pattern of abuse once and for all.
Abusers may run and hide and wish it was all dealt with behind closed doors but they only have themselves to blame that it isn't. An act of abuse needs to be dealt with immediately and effectively, if this means publicaly so be it. A life event or trauma can trigger abuse but cannot be held responsible only the abuser is responsible. Many victims choose to believe otherwise in an attempt to give the abuser the benefit of doubt, unfortunately this is extremely risky as the abuse is unlikely to end but rather intensify as depression and anger control issues set in.
As far as we can tell Heard took all the correct steps to ensure her safety and we should not question such unless actually proven otherwise in a court of law.