AMBER HEARD has filmed a powerful new public service announcement encouraging women to speak up about domestic violence.
The video was made in collaboration with #GirlGaze, a website and movement which seeks to “push back against the cultural projections and traditional gender roles imposed upon girls from the outside world”.
In the heartfelt message, Amber is seen sitting on a sofa, wearing a collarless black denim jacket, and talking directly to the camera. She notes, “I guess there was a lot of shame attached to that, the label of victim. It happens to so many women you know, when it happens in your home behind closed doors with someone you love it’s not straightforward … If a stranger did this, as it was pointed out to me, it would be a no-brainer.”
Amber is clearly alluding to events that transpired between she and her ex-husband Johnny Depp when she states, “Just as a woman having gone through this in the public stage, in the public arena that I did it, I have a unique opportunity to remind other women this doesn’t have to be the way it is, you don’t have to do it alone, you’re not alone.”
The couple married in February last year (15), without a prenuptial agreement in place, and Amber filed for divorce in May (16), alleging she had been the victim of domestic violence during the marriage. The pair finalised its divorce in August (16) with Amber receiving a $7 million (GBP5.62 million) settlement which she donated to charities including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
She becomes particularly emotional in the video when thanking those who have supported her. “Telling someone safe is the beginning of choosing yourself. When I think about it, 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.”
She also notes that changes need to be made to encourage women to come forward. “Violence against women is not limited to actual physical violence, it is also about how we deal with it and talk about it in the media and in our culture, and us taking responsibility for it is what really needs to change.”
She concludes the two-minute message with something of a rallying cry: “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.”
Amber is now at the centre of a new legal drama, having been sued for $10 million in damages on Monday (21Nov16) by producers of her film London Fields, based on the book of the same name by British novelist Martin Amis, for failing to follow through on her performance and promotional obligations regarding the project. She is yet to respond publicly to the suit.