Image: Getty Images
Amber Heard has discussed her personal experience with domestic violence in a powerful new PSA denouncing violence against women.
Amber, who split from Johnny Depp this year after allegations of domestic violence (she donated the USD $7 million she received in the divorce settlement to charities supporting female victims of abuse), appears tearful in the clip for #GirlGaze, in which she discusses her shock at finding herself in an abusive relationship.
“[I was like] ‘How is this happening to me?’ I’m strong, I’m smart, I’m not a victim … to my detriment,” she tells an interviewer off camera.
The 30-year-old said she understands how difficult it can be for women to come forward and tell someone they’re being abused by their partner, but urges women to do it because “telling someone is the beginning of choosing yourself”.
“I guess there was a lot of shame attached to that label of ‘victim,'” she says.
“When it happens in your home, behind closed doors, with someone you love, it’s not as straightforward. If a stranger did this it would be a no-brainer.
“If I hadn’t had a few people that I really trust around me, a few women support, a few friends. If I hadn’t had them around me, how different my life would be.”
The Rum Diary star also says she wants to use the public attention on her situation to bring about positive change, to support women suffering in silence and to change the way violence against women and domestic violence is talked about in public.
“As a women having gone through this in the public stage, in the public arena that I did it in, I have a unique opportunity to remind other women that this doesn’t have to be the way it is,” she says.
“You don’t have to do it alone. You’re not alone, and we can change this.”
“We need to take responsibility for how we talk about these things. The only way people are going to feel comfortable coming forward, raising their voices and standing up for themselves, is if we change the system in place that keeps them quiet.”
“Speak up, speak up. Raise your voice, your voice is the most powerful thing and we, together, as women standing shoulder to shoulder cannot and will not any longer accept silence.”
In the court documents filed during her divorce from Depp, Heard alleged years of violence at the hands of her husband, and said “there was one severe incident in December 2015 when I truly feared for my life.”
Four days after filing for divorce, a judge granted the actress a domestic violence restraining order against Johnny. TMZ also published a video in which Depp is seen losing his temper, screaming at Amber and hurling a wine glass at her and grabbing her in attempt to get his hands on her phone.