WHATEVER your take on the Depp Heard trial, make no mistake – it sends a very clear message to victims of domestic violence in our country. It tells them to be silent.
My 13-year-old son, who doesn’t know Amber Heard or Johnny Depp at all, started talking to me about the trial because he’d seen videos and memes on TikTok and elsewhere.
He watched clearly aligned videos of people mocking a woman as she made her statement about being abused and controlled. laugh at you.
Amber Heard is no stranger to a coordinated social media attack. She probably avoided most of it.
But what about the teenage girls watching those memes whose friends tell them what to wear, who to talk to, and where to go?
The fact that they see this stuff scares me.
“No one will believe you,” whispered that to them.
Depp sued Heard over a newspaper article in which she described herself as a victim of domestic violence.
But didn’t name him.
That he successfully sued a woman for speaking out about domestic violence for defamation is chilling.
If you think this is just psychodrama of the rich and elite, think again.
Women face cease and desist letters or threats of libel for posting on Facebook that they have been abused in the past.
The outcome of this process shows victims of domestic violence that they do not own their own story.
Just what message does that send to the young MP who wants to speak out about his grumpy MP boss who is richer and more powerful than they are?
It tells them to shut up and be silent.
When women spoke up in the #MeToo movement, for the first time there was a sense that power would shift from the abusers to the abused
For years, Harvey Weinstein had lawyers silencing women with legal covenants. For a while it felt like that power was changing.
But there would always be backlash.
Victims of domestic violence will have watched the process with silent horror.
But the outcome of that process tells them exactly what their abuser has told them time and time again: “If you speak out, I will come for you and I will win.”
Whatever you think about the merits of the case – or whose side you fall on – it doesn’t matter.
What we should all be concerned about is how it silences women living with abuse because they know they could be sued and humiliated if they tell their story.
How to get help
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Keep your phone close at all times.
- Contact charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat hotline and services like SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarize yourself with the silent solution and report abuse without speaking on the phone, instead dialing ’55’.
- Always carry some money with you, including change for a payphone or bus ticket.
- If you suspect your partner will attack you, try moving to a less vulnerable area of the house – for example, where there is an exit and access to a phone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid spaces where you could become trapped, such as B. the bathroom, or where you could be locked in a closet or other small space.
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, the SupportLine is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s Aid offers a live chat service available weekdays from 8am to 6pm and weekends from 10am to 6pm.
You can also call the 24-hour toll-free domestic abuse hotline on 0808 2000 247.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5479173/johnny-depp-amber-heard-verdict-chilling-mesage-victims/ Amber Heard’s verdict sends a chilling message to abuse victims