Responses to Amber Heard

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Amber Heard has filed for divorce from Johnny Depp.  She has also been granted a restraining order against her husband after showing the judge a series of photographs showing bruises to her face.

I’m not going to discuss whether or not it happened.  I am going to discuss some of the responses to these reports and why they are particularly problematic.  I’m taking responses directly from Twitter and from both men and women.

known Johnny Depp for years and through several relationships. He’s the sweetest, kindest, gentlest man that I’ve ever known. Just saying.

Whilst I don’t doubt for a moment that Johnny Depp is charming and sweet and lovely with his friends, I also know from experience that the most charming and adoring men can have the worst tempers and biggest vindictive streaks.

Being a lovely man to many doesn’t mean you’re not an evil man to few or just one.

My ex boyfriend was a sweetheart.  Everyone told me so.  They told me how obvious it was that he adored me, how lovely he was to me, how happy they were to see us together.  They said that to me on the days I would go home to be given abuse because I smiled at a man for too long, because the dress I was wearing was too short.  They said to me whilst the memories, and pain, of the sexual assault from the night before was still fresh.  They said it to me as I remembered crying as he smashed a glass at my feet because I hadn’t done as I was told and I trembled before his raised fist.  As the back of my head still felt sore from being shoved backwards into a wall.

Knowing someone as a mate does not mean you know them as a lover.  Being a guy they hang out with is not the same as being a woman they live with.

Because she must’ve done something to deserve those punches

This is genuine.  I have seen more than one comment, way more than one, claiming she must have deserved it.

Nobody deserves to be hit.  Nobody.  I don’t care if she was pissing him off hugely.  I don’t care if he was having a really bad day.  Whatever she did, whatever she said, she did not deserve to be hit.

I can’t say anything more on this.  It just makes me too sad to know people out there truly feel this way.

she only needed his money. WAKE UP, PEOPLE !

Firstly, even if she did only marry him for his money, it doesn’t mean he’s entitled to assault her.  Secondly, she is a successful actress, she doesn’t need his money.

Taking on one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, one of the most loved and respected men, is not a good career boost nor is it a good way to earn money.  She may have hoped that affiliating herself with him would boost her career.  I can’t possible know nor would I care to guess as it is none of my business, people get married for all sorts of reasons other than just love, but that doesn’t excuse abuse.  All I know is that fighting a powerful man is a pretty good way to get your career ruined, and that strikes me as making her claims even braver.  She is risking everything.

Looks fake to me – not a very good makeup job on the face at all. Who is trying to kid with this story?

Women are told they need to speak out against domestic violence.  So Amber Heard speaks out and is called a liar.  She is told she needs to provide evidence if she’s to be believed.  She provides photographic evidence and told it is fake.  She provides eye witness statements and is told they are lying.

Women do not speak out about domestic violence because they are not believed and this is just being proven by Amber Heard.  And the number of people claiming she is lying and faking it is only going to convince other women not to come forward and that is heart breaking.  It just perpetuates the secrecy and shame that comes with being a victim.  Even famous, wealthy and beautiful women deserve support.

Johnny Depp just showed how stupid it is for men to marry bisexual women

A lot of people are claiming that Amber Heard having so many female friends has been too much for Johnny Depp to cope with.

Being a bisexual does not make you more likely to cheat.  Being a bisexual does not mean you can’t have friends of the same sex without sleeping with them.  Being a bisexual does not mean anything beyond being attracted to both sexes.  It does not dictate your personality and it does not mean you’re more or less sexually active than those attracted to one sex.  And fundamentally it doesn’t entitle the spouse of the bisexual person to abuse them.  EVEN if she had affairs with every man and woman she ever met.

didn’t even file the restraining order til almost a week after she filed the divorce. If she was scared why wait?

Most people DO NOT report domestic violence.  Most people DO NOT report rape.  And it’s because they’re scared.

I didn’t report it.  I didn’t speak out until I ended up in therapy years later.  I was ashamed of not fighting harder.  I was embarassed that it had happened at all.  I was afraid of repercussions.  I endured physical and emotional abuse for a damn long time without even leaving, let alone reporting it.

If you don’t it’s not because you’re lying and it’s not because you’re weak or stupid.  It’s because you’re afraid.  And to do something about it, in the face of that fear, makes you incredibly brave and it should be applauded not ridiculed.

And, just for good measure, here are a few more tweets on the subject.  It is a sad truth that in the case of domestic violence and rape it’s a standard response to assume the woman is lying and the man is the innocent victim.  That being a famous actor makes you more trustworthy than being a woman with evidence.  That having a public persona as a “nice guy” matters more than anything.

And so many of these are from women.  Women who’s loyalty is to the man they have a crush on not one of their fellow women.

is a liar and a money grubbing whore. She is not worthy of .

Not worthy?  What makes someone worthy, exactly?  And why do you get to decide who is worthy of someone else?

is such a liar I swear 

Based on what evidence?  Or is it just because you like his movies?

is a gold digging liar

Why?  Because you don’t want it to be true or because rich men NEVER beat their wives?

I think is a lying money grabbing bitch.

Your opinion is horrifying.  Rejecting a victims claims and calling them names is the cause of so much pain amongst survivors.

We stand with proudly Thank you for showing your real face BITCH 

Is the real face the one where she is bruised?

is a lying ass Bitch, she probably punched herself in the face. Domestic violence is never right but I hate when people lie.

You’re right, domestic violence is never right.  So why do her claims get dismissed with such vitriol but it’s so easy to assume he’s innocent?

I can’t know if he did it.  I can’t know if he didn’t.  What I do know is that the instinctive dismissal of a woman who claims abuse sickens me.  And it happens ALL THE TIME.  And the more it happens, and the more public figures are given this abuse when they speak out, the harder it gets for others to speak out.   And the more likely it is that the abusers will continue to get away with and go on to abuse again.

I stayed quiet like so many others, and looking at the abuse Amber Heard is getting I don’t blame us for being too afraid.  Because it’s not just the abuser we’re afraid of, it’s how everyone else will respond to us too.  And that fear being realised is sickening to watch.

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