Like me, you have probably seen the allegations Amber Heard has made against Johnny Depp. If you haven’t, she’s alleging he physically and emotionally abused her over the course of their relationship (she has a picture documenting the alleged abuse) and apparently a video to support her claims.
Unsurprisingly, many people are jumping to Johnny Depp’s defense and crying, “Innocent until proven guilty! She’s just a gold digging whore!”
Which is fair, in a way. At least, the “innocent until proven guilty” part (not the insults). It’s how our judicial system works.
However, in these situations, I’m always surprised how quickly people defend the accused and say that they (often “he”) deserves a fair trial. (Which is true – I’m not saying Depp, or anyone else, doesn’t.)
And how quickly they are to condemn the victim.
Does anyone else notice this disturbing pattern? So many people are hell-bent on the phrase “innocent until proven guilty” – but this same mantra is rarely applied to the alleged victim.
Amber Heard is a lying, gold-digging whore. She faked her injuries and Depp is a great man.
Kesha was never raped. She lied. She’s just trying to destroy a good man’s career.
The dozens of women who allege that Bill Cosby drugged and raped them? They, too, are liars. All of them. And Cosby’s defense? Well, they couldn’t say no, so consent was implied.
Every time a woman comes forward and makes an allegation against a famous man, people rise to his defense.
They forget that a lack of evidence doesn’t mean a person isn’t guilty of a crime.
An acquittal doesn’t mean a person’s not guilty (look at O.J. for god’s sake).
Likewise, a person who receives a guilty sentence isn’t necessarily guilty, either.
Innocent people go to jail.
Sometimes, innocent people are even executed.
Our justice system is deeply flawed – and that means guilty people walk free and innocent people go to jail (not all the time, but let’s be realistic).
I understand not wanting to vilify a man who may be innocent, but Amber deserves the same respect. She deserves at least the equal support Depp is receiving, if not more.
If she’s telling the truth (and I, personally, believe her), she’s not only incredibly brave but she’s also helping other abuse victims come forward – something that is essential in some places like Australia, where almost eighty women were murder by their partners or ex-partners last year.
But let me go another way, if my point isn’t clear.
A lot of people are making comments about the photos – saying they’re faked, it’s not real abuse, or she looks happy in other photos.
A few hours after a photo of me kissing my (ex)boyfriend was taken, he berated and bullied me into saying I loved him for several hours. He loved me, and he was furious when I didn’t return the same feelings.
Another photo, where I’m smiling, was taken during our one-year anniversary, where I was berated for being fat and not giving him what was expected in return for his “gifts.”
Another was taken at an ACDC concert, where he yelled at me because my legs had started to hurt after around seven hours of standing and being pushed and shoved (we were in a mosh pit, clearly). He then called me a slut and a whore when I started stretching, waiting in line, for a bus.
And in another, I was called a slut again because a man asked if he could buy me a drink.
There are so many more photos of me and my ex that would give the illusion that I was in a happy and loving relationship.
In fact, it was incredibly hard to leave him – he broke into my school and stole my SD card and read through all my emails. He then later broke into my house.
I tried going to the police, and they refused to even take my statement or investigate – apparently, children you teach are more interested in your SD card and emails than money in your wallet and a $1,000 phone.
My hell only ended after I decided to move twelve hours away, after my parents and I came to the conclusion that his behavior wasn’t going to end any time soon.
Pictures don’t tell a thousand words.
Sometimes they don’t even tell the story you want to hear.
Someone who looks happy in photos does not mean they actually are.
Just because something looks picture perfect, doesn’t mean it is.
Just because Amber Heard looked happy with Johnny Depp, doesn’t mean she was.
Just because you’ve seen Depp in a few movies doesn’t mean you know him.
After all, even when I told people of the things my ex had done to me, so many people were shocked because he just wasn’t like that.
If you are worried that you yourself (or someone you know) is in an abusive relationship, here are some warning signs you need to be aware of:
1. He or she will try to over-the-top romance you. They will be everything you’ve ever dreamed of. (This stereotype plays well into romance movies like Twilight and Fifty Shades Of Grey.)
2. He or she will want commitment – such as I love yous and lets move in together and marriage – often far quicker than you are ready to give. (My ex was furious when I didn’t say I love you at the month mark – he even told me I had to say it even though he knew I wouldn’t mean it, and at three months he started saying “I was the one” and he “couldn’t live without me.”)
3. He or she will isolate you from friends and family under the pretense of ‘but I just want you to myself because I love you so much.’
4. Extreme jealousy and controlling behavior.
5. He or she will not take any responsibility for their actions and will always blame someone else – it is always someone else’s fault.
6. Verbal, emotional or psychological abuse.
7. Physical abuse.
8. Violent mood swings – you become unsure what mood he or she will be in, and don’t know when or why their mood suddenly changes.
9. He or she is extremely sensitive and you have to be careful with everything you say.
10. He or she threatens violence – either against you, your pets, your loved ones or themselves (“I’ll kill myself if you leave”).
It’s really important that if you’re worried about being in abusive relationship (or someone you know – sometimes, like me, they are unaware) you get help.