The internet is in uproar as it is revealed that Johnny Depp was a victim of an elaborate hoax by Amber Heard. The actor also suffered from her hands from domestic abuse which was highly violent in nature. From throwing soda cans to slapping him, Amber Heard has done it all. But that was not all she did, she falsely accused him of domestic abuse. This ultimately led to his reputation and career going downhill. Now, the real thing to notice here is that Johnny Depp reported this abuse previously as well. But no one believed him. This is an example of a bigger problem that’s going on: domestic abuse and physical abuse against males. Something that is grossly underrepresented.
Male Abuse Not Reported due to Stigma Attached
Now look, sexual abuse and physical assault are all things that should be condemned. Regardless of which gender they are inflicted on or by whom, it is unlawful and morally wrong. Incidents like these are often really hard to report, in some countries more than others. The justice system and societal values all make it highly hard for anyone to report physical and domestic abuse. Fortunately, some mindsets are changing thanks to the #MeToo era and women survivors are given a chance to speak up about their abuse.
No one was willing to believe Johnny Depp
However, society is still not quick as it should be to believe male survivors. When Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s divorce case and abuse allegations came to the public front, everyone was ready to believe Amber. The thing is, Johnny Depp also shared that Amber Heard had abused him physically. No one was willing to give Depp the benefit of the doubt then.
This shows exactly why male abuse survivors are afraid to open up about their stories. Due to this stereotype of males being stronger and more aggressive, almost no one is willing to believe that a woman could abuse them.
A team led by Alyson Huntley at the University of Bristol did extensive research on male victims of domestic abuse. The study was conducted over the course of 12 years and it came up with these findings.
Alyson Huntley shared:
The issue of masculinity is a societal one – men are not expected to be the weak ones. It is a hard stereotype to work against.
There’s no denying there’s a gap between reported physical abuse cases and the actual number. But the gap of male abuse survivors is much larger compared to that of women physical abuse survivors.
There’s a fear attached to male survivors that they would be perceived as weak or they’re afraid no one would believe that. Many of the cases also outlined that the victims were too traumatized to even muster the courage to open up about it.
Males do not know there are services available to help them
The depressing thing about this is those male victims are often not aware such services exist to help them. It’s usually believed that such services only cater to women.
Even when they do find out, very few are willing to opt for those services because they do not want to admit they endured physical and domestic abuse.
A chairman of ManKind Initiative, Mark Brooks, runs a charity in Britain that is there to help male victims of domestic abuse. He shares that male survivors of abuse are usually just looking for validation because even while suffering from abuse, they’re not sure if they actually endured it.
The Chairman also shared that men stay in a physically abusive relationship for 3 years before reaching out:
“Women are very much taught that domestic abuse is something that happens to women and therefore they need to be on their guard . . . men aren’t really taught or brought up in the same way”
Johnny Depp Isn’t the only male who opened up about his abuse
A few months ago I came across a Vox article that mentioned a YouTube video as being the best video on the internet. The article perfectly highlights the genius of the video in terms of its cinematography.
However, the subject matter that the YouTuber, Oliver Thorn, chose is of interest too. He runs a Philosophy Tube channel that shares his views on philosophical and political incidents and events. He often uses a variety of unique ways to create his stories.
This one, in particular, was about his physical and domestic abuse story and it is worth a watch. It shows how male victims are often in denial of their abuse by their female partners:
It does help put things in perspective.
Hopefully, the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp case will be handled the right way and justice would be served. Not only did Heard abuse Depp but she also falsely accused him of things he did not do. Yes, Johnny Depp did admit to pushing her but that was after they were both already physical.