according to very famous divorce case of Mr. Johnny Depp and his soon to be ex wife Mrs. Amber Heard.
Harper’s Bazaar.co.uk made an aricle about Inspiring Women and Feminists in 2016
«From Hillary Clinton to Amber Heard, we celebrate the women who inspired us in 2016»
My personal opinion is that -regardless if you believe Amber Heard was abused by Johnny Depp or not- the above lines about Amber Heard and especially the last sentence is dangerous. For the abuse victims.
It’s been circulated among media outlets that Amber Heard did everything a victim was supposed to do and people still questioned her.
The problem isn’t that people questioned her. The problem is deeper and it can cause harm to victims/survivors of abuse.
Ella Alexander of Harper’s Bazaar writes «Her bravery and candour will doubtlessly help others in similar positions to come forward».
Let’s talk about protecting yourself from your abuser and compare it to Mrs. Heard’s actions.
1. Don’t alert your abuser if you are planning to leave.
Mrs. Heard sent a letter, not only alerting Mr. Depp she was asking for divorce, but also demanding spousal support, his range rover with Mr. Depp to continue to make all payments for any encumbrances thereon, his condos (the place she’s been systematically abuse since before their wedding) with Mr. Depp to continue to pay mortage utilities, etc associated therewith, and a contribution towards her accounting costs, to be paid to her lawyers’ firm by close of business of a certain date (the same date she asked for a TRO, because he refused to pay her)
Amber Heard’s letter to Johnny Depp’s lawyer before filing for a TRO
Let me rephrase the above, Mrs. Heard blackmailed/extorted her alleged abuser while he had free access in their home.
2. Call 911 and report the incident. Write down the police report/incident number and keep with your records.
Mrs. Heard (or her friend) called the Police, but didn’t file a report, didn’t press charges, didn’t report the incident as domestic violence.
Wouldn’t that just aggrevate an abuser more? She had no protection from the Police, and she was in his house.
3. Know your abuser’s red flags. Be on alert for signs and clues that your abuser is getting upset and may explode in anger or violence. Come up with several believable reasons you can use to leave the house (both during the day and at night) if you sense trouble brewing.
Or make sure you don’t push their buttons while openly filming them. This isn’t victim blaming, it’s self protection. It’s one thing installing hidden cameras to record the abuse, and a whole different thing to have your mobile camera on your abuser’s face while your abuser aggressively cuts trees in the backyard attempting to remind them that besides the poor trees withstanding their aggression, you are there as well.
On top of that, do not embarrass your abuser by uploading the incriminating video in youtube while they still have access in their home.
4. File for a Protective Order that will tell your abuser to stay away.
Do not drop the Restraining Order request after making your abuser the ridicule of the town. It will most probably enrage them and you will not be safe.
I get it. It is totally great to feel a hero, putting your abuser down and making what they are known to everyone. But will that keep you safe? Will media care about you like they did for Mrs. Heard? How much will your abuser be angry if you do what she did?
Mrs Heard isn’t in the hospital (or in a morgue) only because she accused Mr. Depp and that’s for two reasons.
a. maybe there was no abuse from his part to begin with,
b. she has all the spotlight of the world on her, because she’s Mr. Depp’s ex wife.
Do NOT do what she did regardless of what you read in media. What she did was a fine way to enrage him and make him angry, not really asking for the Police’s protection, or even the Law’s protection (she dropped her RO request).
Have a safety plan. If your partner is abusive, have a plan to protect yourself and your children in case you need to leave quickly.
Try to find a way to put aside some money (blackmailing your abuser is not the best of ways to go about it), clothing, documents for the time you will have to leave your home. Find a place -friendly- to stay in emergency. Join a support group for survivors of domestic violence, get help from a therapist of hotlines. Take precautions not to be noticed by your abuser.
You won’t be safe if you do what Mrs. Heard did.
The media that present what Mrs. Heard did as the right thing to do most probably don’t care about your safety. After all, you have not been married to Mr. Depp.
Instead of attempting to become a hero by the media, your first priority is safety.