Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Amber Heard, and the grotesque disparity in how men and women are treated in cases of domestic violence

Imagine you’re in a pub, having a quiet drink, and a woman walks in with bruises down her face, and says, “Can you please keep my husband away from me? He did this.” You’d believe her, right? Sit her down, order her a brandy, call the police and give her your coat to keep her from shivering? It wouldn’t occur to you to wonder if she was the kind of person who’d make up a monstrous lie. And even if it did, would you ever apply that same suspicion to a victim of burglary, armed robbery or mugging? I’m guessing no.

Pity that the same sense of common courtesy is not being extended to actress Amber Heard, a woman we’ll never meet who saw her allegations of domestic violence at the hands of husband Johnny Depp leaked from the legitimate legal process she was following (during which, she presented formal evidence and was granted a restraining order by a court of law), then plonked on every front page and social-media platform for the public to dissect, challenge and find her lacking in either morality or credibility.  ...


This article by Sali Hughes was first published by The Pool on 31.5.16. You can find the full text of the article here.


Inspired by our participation with the Write to End Violence Against Women awards organised by Zero Tolerance, we are now collecting examples of good journalism about domestic and sexual violence and abuse to make it clear that it is possible to write about DSVA without resorting to myths, misrepresentations, minimisation and victim blaming.

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One thought on “Amber Heard, and the grotesque disparity in how men and women are treated in cases of domestic violence

  • Louise says:

    I wrote this comment on Twitter and I think it’s relivent to this. “If you don’t believe that the star you love or respect can abuse a women, then you also can’t believe that an average man can abuse his wife, but it happens all the time”. It’s the fact that we have to prove that we have been the victims of a crime to even have it investigated and that’s before you’ve been torn apart in a court room. Is why men’s abuse of women is well under reported and will be until women are believed immediately this won’t change. Yes the star you love can and very well might abuse a woman behind closed doors.