Amber Heard is speaking out once again about violence against women. This year, the Rum Diary actress alleged in court that her soon-to-be ex-husband Johnny Depp physically abused her during their 15-month marriage. Since then, Heard has been an advocate for survivors of abuse, recently starring in a PSA in which she detailed her experiences and fears of being known as a "victim." Now Heard has penned a letter to her "silent sisters" who have survived abuse. The letter, published in the December issue of Porter Magazine, details the hard truths that abuse survivors must face after they come forward with their 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... No matter how terrible or terrifying surviving trauma may be, unfortunately, it can pale in comparison to what follows." Heard knows this well. When the actress came forward with her allegations against Depp, a popular and beloved actor, she was met with critics who accused her of slandering his name for money and/or attention. Heard ultimately pledged to donate the money she received in her divorce settlement ($7 million) to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. Though the Justice League star acknowledges the hardships associated with coming forward, she also reminded women that they are not alone and that they have an army of women to stand by them when they speak their truth: "I want to remind you of your strength, a strength that has been 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." Heard has been through the ringer in the court of public opinion, and she has not stopped speaking her truth. In a world that silences women, it's wonderful to see Heard standing with her sisters.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for confidential support.