Making a bold stride forward for Amber Heard means releasing a PSA about domestic violence and encouraging women to support one another to end abuse altogether. Heard partnered with the #GirlGaze Project — a female collective that curates photography shot by women about the lives of women — so that she could recount her alleged experiences (in vague, but very emotional detail) with domestic violence. It is nothing short of moving. While Heard does not name her alleged abuser in the PSA, she made headlines earlier this year when she filed a restaining order against her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, claiming domestic violence as the reason. (At the time, Depp denied the abuse allegations through his lawyer.)
It's clear from the video's opening moments that Heard is ready to speak up, and she's not afraid to open a raw nerve for a bigger cause. Shot as a confessional, Heard discusses the psychology of a women experiencing domestic abuse. She says, "'How is this happening to me?' You know? 'I'm strong. I'm smart. I'm not a victim.' To my detriment. I guess there was a lot of shame attached to that label of 'victim.'" From there, Heard puts it plainly: "If this was a stranger that did this it would be a no-brainer." That no-brainer? Putting a definitive end to the culture of domestic violence, which is propagated in our society and affects millions upon millions of lives regularly.
She goes on to propose a possible solution, which could act as the widespread catalyst to reversing the entrenched, deeply hurtful act of domestic violence. In the clip, Heard says, "Telling someone safe is the beginning of choosing yourself. Think about it: If I hadn't had that, if I hadn't had a few people that I really trust around me, a few women supporting me... how different my life would be."
Hearing Heard speak as candidly as she can about an aspect of her life that was made so public is heart-wrenching. Necessary, but heart-wrenching nonetheless. This marks her first notably public statement since a divorce settlement was reached with Depp in August. At the time, the couple released the following statement to TMZ:
Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains. There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future. Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to a charity.
While Heard never blatantly says Depp's name in the video, she seems to brush dangerously close to it, mentioning that she went through such a public dissection of her divorce and her allegations of domestic violence; Heard believes this experience makes her the right woman (a woman with visibility, means, and so forth) to talk about domestic violence and help stop it once and for all.
The PSA is a short one, but it packs a powerful message. Heard's call for women to support one another is so crucial in this discussion. Moreover, her testimony serves as a reminder that domestic violence doesn't discriminate in whom it affects, which is why it must end sooner rather than later.