amber heard on domestic violence: ‘we can change this’

The actress opens up about her own experience with domestic violence in a powerful PSA.

by Hannah Ongley
|
28 November 2016, 6:42pm

Since settling her divorce with Johnny Depp earlier this year, alleging that her husband had been verbally and physically abusive throughout their relationship, Amber Heard has not publicly opened up about being a victim of domestic violence. Nor should she feel compelled to. But in a powerful public service announcement aimed at changing the conversation around physical abuse, the actress has bravely spoken out about her own much-publicized experience. The video was filmed for her friend Amanda de Cadenet's #GirlGaze project and released to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Cadenet was one of Heard's most vocal supporters when the abuse allegations became the subject of much social media scrutiny. 

"As a woman having gone through this in the public arena that I did, I have a unique opportunity to remind other women that this doesn't have to be the way it is," Heard says during the emotional video. "You don't have to do it alone. You're not alone. We can change this. Violence against women is not limited to actual violence. It's also how we talk about it in the media and in our culture. We need to take responsibility for how we talk about these things. It's the only way that people are going to feel comfortable coming forward."

This isn't the first time Heard has used her privilege and platform to align herself with important societal issues. The actress publicly came out as bisexual at a GLAAD event in 2010, saying of her decision, "I think when I became aware of my role in the media, I had to ask myself an important question, 'Am I part of the problem?'" Earlier this year the actress pledged to donate the entirety of her forthcoming $7 million divorce settlement to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. 

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Text Hannah Ongley

Tagged:
domestic violence
amber heard