Men are victims of domestic violence too
By Shivani Jeet, Contributor
If this horrible ruling does not set an example as to why male victims of domestic violence don’t come forward, I don’t know what will.
We know Johnny Depp as many characters; Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, Grindelwald from Fantastic Beasts, or even Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland; little did we know he was also a survivor of domestic violence.
The past few years have been a roller coaster of emotions for Depp and Amber Heard. While women from Depp’s past relationships have said he is no abusive monster or “wife beater,” Heard claimed otherwise. But just how legitimate was her statement? Or were they both abusive towards each other?
After the two finalized their divorce in 2017, Heard accused Depp of physically abusing her, and Depp would then sue his ex-wife for defamation in 2019. Earlier this year, phone recordings were released in which Heard admitted to being abusive to Depp.
Heard is caught saying: “I’m sorry that I didn’t […] hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you, it was not punching you. Babe, you’re not punched.”
Though the case was taken to trial this past summer, unfortunately for millionaire Johnny Depp even with the best lawyers, multiple recordings of Heard assaulting him, and photographic evidence of the abuse, he could not get his case taken seriously by the judge; and yes, I believe this has everything to do with him being a man.
There are multiple barriers men face if they fall out of the heteronormative script, even if they are of status. So, what hope do other male survivors have for justice? Who do men reach out too for help when they need someone to count on? This issue is highly embedded in feminist theory and is explained as the patriarchy oppressing men who do not conform to traditionalist masculine gender norms and patterns.
He lost his case and even called for an appeal, however, his libel case was turned down, which by no means was a surprise. But will his case and act of bravery affect other males who have been sexually, emotionally, mentally, or physically abused? If this horrible ruling does not set an example as to why male victims of domestic violence don’t come forward, I don’t know what will.
Furthermore, the Warner Bros asked Depp to resign from the Fantastic Beasts franchise as Grindelwald after he lost his case, and the role has now been given to Mads Mikkelsen. This is not the only iconic role he lost; he will also no longer be playing Jack Sparrow.
This is a truth I think so many deny and fail to acknowledge: feminism is not a “man vs woman” movement—it is a movement for those who are affected by patriarchal expectations, and yes, this includes men too. While feminism has focused more on women’s issues, this does not separate men from the movement, and if anything, feminists need to do a better job to raise awareness and be advocates for men’s issues too.
Anyone can be a victim of abuse. It is our job to unlearn societal norms, take domestic abuse experiences from men seriously, and be an ally.
Here are some resources to get in contact with:
Youthspace.ca (NEED2 Suicide Prevention, Education and Support)
Crisis Services Canada, Toll Free (24/7): 1 (833) 456-4566
Canadian Crisis Hotline: 1 (888) 353-2273