The Amber Heard and Johnny Depp abuse story has been all over the media for the past few months, and has brought about a whole lot of conversations on domestic violence. People have been saying everything from claims that Amber was lying about the abuse, to the other end of the spectrum where people were protesting that Johnny Depp is starring in the new Harry Potter movie franchise.
Recently for Porter Magazine, Amber Heard wrote a letter to her silent sisters everywhere. It struck a chord with me and I wanted to share…
“To my silent sisters everywhere,
You are not alone. You may have suffered alone behind closed doors, but you are not alone. You need to know that. I want to remind you of your strength, a strength that is multiplied by the number of women who stand silently behind you- a truth that allowed me to break down the doors I once found myself behind.
Let’s start with the truth- the cold, hard truth. When a woman comes forward to speak out about injustice or her suffering, instead of aid, respect and support, she will be met with hostility, skepticism and shame. Her motives will be questioned and her truth ignored.
No matter how terrible or terrifying surviving trauma may be, unfortunately, it can pale in comparison to what follows. It’s no wonder so many of us feel we have to keep quiet or risk our own safety to try to maintain our dignity by quietly enduring. The fear of being ostracized from society is just about the most terrifying prospect there is.
But there’s no need to make that terrible trade. It takes real strength to come forward. It isn’t easy to raise your voice, to stand up for yourself and your truth and to do it ‘alone’. But our world is changing. Standing shoulder to shoulder as women, we comprise a vast army of voices and we can no longer accept ‘silence’.
I was raised to be independent and self-reliant, I was never given nor wanted the burden of dependency. I never felt anyone would or could rescue me, so naturally I resented the label of ‘victim’. Which is how I imagine many of you feel. You, like me, see yourself not as a victim but rather as a member of a growing class of women, daughters of a generation of equality. We have inherited far too much to be resigned to accept injustice and together we are much too strong to excuse it any longer.
So, as I write this today, I can promise every woman who is suffering in silence, you are not alone. You may not see us, but we are there. Your sisters are everywhere- and we are with you.
Two final thoughts on this:
- The pictures of Amber Heard that came out are hard for me to look at… but not because of the noticeable bruising. There is a look in her eyes that I have seen before, staring back at me in the mirror on more occasions than I can even count. A look of numbness, a look of empty, a look of lonely, a look of lost…. it is like all of the light behind her eyes has been smothered out, and it breaks my heart to see.
- I started this blog because when I finally decided to leave my abuser, I realized the importance of finding a community and feeling like I was part of a group of people who had been through this traumatic experience… A group that would understand, that wouldn’t ask why I stayed, that wouldn’t subtly blame me. I absolutely agree that we are not alone, and the more of us that speak up and share our stories – the more silent sisters we are helping everywhere. ❤