Amber Heard's Friend Describes the Devastating Impact Her Situation Has on Abused Women Everywhere

June 9th 2016

Laura Donovan

Artist and activist iO Tillett Wright just penned a powerful piece on Refinery29 about calling 9-1-1 for a friend who fell victim to domestic abuse.


A photo posted by iO Tillett Wright (@iolovesyou) on

Though the piece contains no names, it is widely believed to be about Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, and Wright includes several references to the media storm regarding their ongoing divorce and Heard's domestic abuse allegations against her husband.


A photo posted by iO Tillett Wright (@iolovesyou) on

Wright — a friend to the Depp family and the person cited in court documents as the one who contacted authorities about Depp's alleged behavior — wrote that she called for help because her friend "never would."

Wright says she "witnessed firsthand the absolutely baffling mental pretzel that an abused person puts themselves into," and condemns the troubling message this situation sends to women everywhere:

"Right now, every battered woman in the world is watching this media circus, internalizing the message that when they come forward for help, when they break the cycle, they will be called a gold digger, a cheater, and be accused of having faked it all for attention."

Wright's comments echo many who have cited the backlash against Heard as the reason women are afraid to come forward about abuse:

However, some have argued that Heard staged the entire ordeal for financial gain and attention.

One viral hashtag highlights how judgment and doubt can silence abuse victims and keep them in toxic relationships.

When footage surfaced in 2014 of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiancée Janay Palmer in an elevator, Palmer received a lot of criticism online for marrying him anyway. Shocked by the victim-blaming directed at Palmer, writer Beverly Golden created #WhyIStayed to give victims of abuse a voice and enable them to explain why they stayed with their abusers.

Many women tweeted that they stayed with their abusers because they worried no one would believe them. 

Read Wright's full piece here.

RELATED: Johnny Depp's Daughter Exposed a Huge Misconception About Domestic Violence